Basil Pesto

Vegan vegetable pesto pizza

Bold-flavored pesto sauce is arguably the most celebrated use for basil. Here’s a basic recipe, just right for a good-sized amount of your favorite pasta. It’s also good used as a sandwich spread, as a change of pace pizza sauce or dressing for potato salad.

Serves: about 6 (about 1 cup, enough for 10 to 12 ounces of pasta)

  • 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan-style non-dairy cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, optional (see note)
  • Hot or warm cooked pasta
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Process until the mixture is a rough but evenly textured paste.  Toss the pesto with pasta, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Note: If you like garlicky pesto, but not the aftertaste of garlic, you can sauté the pesto in a little of the olive oil beforehand.

Pasta with pesto

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