Pesto sauce is a traditional Italian sauce that is made with fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The ingredients are typically blended together in a food processor or blender to create a smooth and creamy sauce.
This sauce has a bright green color and a strong, fresh flavor that is ideal for use as a pasta sauce, sandwich spread, or dip for vegetables. Pesto sauce is easy to make at home and can be customized with different herbs and nuts for unique variations. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
This simple recipe for basil pesto sauce is made without the addition of parmesan cheese. Not only have I found that omitting parmesan cheese helps preserve the sauce for longer, but is also important as a vegetarian.
Homemade basil pesto is a delicious and adaptable sauce/spread made from a few basic ingredients. It comes together in minutes and tastes far superior to store-bought due to its freshness. (Much like lemon curd, store-bought pesto is nothing like homemade pesto!)
Ingredients for the pesto sauce recipe
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 ½ cups walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Instruction for the pesto sauce recipe
- To begin, toast the almonds in a small frying pan or skillet over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Let the almonds cool on a plate.
- In a food processor, food chopper, or grinder jar, combine the almonds. Crush the almonds coarsely.
- Then add the basil leaves, garlic, black pepper, and salt.
- Smash the basil leaves and blend the mixture while crushing and blending.
Remove and store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- This basil pesto can be stored in a jar or sealable container, then carefully sealed and refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- If you don’t have fresh garlic cloves, use 3 teaspoons of minced garlic from the jar.
- Add your preferred herbs, such as cilantro, mint, or parsley. Season with cayenne, ground ginger, paprika, or crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Instead, add a dab of your favorite hot sauce.