Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto

With cold weather on the horizon, I find myself wanting to enjoy fresh basil even more, while I can. Pesto is one of my favorite basil dishes.

Pesto is most often made with basil, but there are a lot of variations out there. Pesto can be made from parsley, sun dried tomatoes, spinach or mint.

I must admit to being a big fan of the original.

I make pesto often when I have fresh basil. I also freeze basil with olive oil, so I can make it all year long. Pesto can be tossed with pasta, rice, potatoes or other veggies. I also like pesto on chicken.

Basil Pesto Sauce

1 c. tightly packed basil leaves
1/4 c. olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
1/2 c. pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pecans or walnuts- I like to toast the nuts first
1 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients, except the cheese, in a blender and mix until smooth. Stir in the cheese and toss over hot, cooked pasta or use as a sauce on meat and poultry. Sauce will keep a few days in the fridge and makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for 1 lb. of cooked pasta.

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