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
- ¼ cup walnuts or toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan-style non-dairy cheese
- Juice of ½ 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.
- Here are lots more recipes for simple sauces and such.