BosGuy makes pesto

Earlier this year I purchased two small basil plants from a local farm rather than my local grocery store, and I’ll never buy herb plants from a grocer again. This is easily the biggest, greenest and most fragrant basil plant I’ve ever had. As a result, I’ve been making pesto in batches all summer so thought I’d share this easy recipe.

The ingredients for a traditional pesto are fairly straightforward. However, I believe that if you want pesto to taste its best you need to use the freshest basil leaves, and grate the cheese you’ll use – don’t buy it grated.

2-3 cups of packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
3-4 cloves of garlic (you can use more if you have roasted garlic)
1/3 cup of unsalted pine nuts

Add the basil leaves (stems removed), pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add half the cheese and drizzle in the olive oil as you pulse the ingredients. As the ingredients come together, add in the remaining cheese and oil.

Taste the pesto and add more basil leaves to increase the flavor. You can add more cheese to thicken or more oil to help thin the pesto to satisfy your taste. The cheese should provide enough salt for flavor but if not, I’ve been known to add a pinch of salt. Similarly, the raw garlic should add a bit of a bite, but you can add a pinch or two of fresh ground pepper to spice the pesto.

In addition to adding fresh pesto to pasta, I also add it to my red sauce as a secret ingredient. After you’ve cooked your sauce stir in a couple of tablespoons into the sauce.

In addition to being a great sauce or elevating a red sauce, I like to brush pesto on chicken breasts before I cook them (I also add the juice of half a lemon), and I love using a tablespoon of pesto in my morning omelette.

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  3. You’re almost there. Farm-raised herbs and vegetables are the best. But – a food processor? Please try a mortar and pestle. It a lot more work, but it’s also a lot more fun. Watching and smelling the changes makes for a wonderful afternoon task. Just try it – I think you’ll agree. (and a mortar and pestle takes up way less room in the kitchen. Just sayin’.)


  4. Randy Slovacek

    Congrats on the huge success with the basil plant! It really does make a difference in buying from a farm versus grocery store. My husband loves growing his own basil and definitely saw a difference between store bought v. farm grown.

    Liked by 1 person


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