Homemade Pesto Sauce

I can hardly believe I am admitting this, but I have never made pesto sauce in my adult life. I know. I know. There are several reasons for this. One, you kind of need a lot of basil to make your own pesto. Two cups of packed fresh basil leaves is actually a lot of basil--more than you might think. The real reason though? Pine nuts. Those things are pricey! 

But the time came, I had to bite the price bullet and buy the nuts and make the pesto because I had a ton of basil leaves. That and my husband had a bad pesto sauce experience as a child and it was redemption time. I knew I could redeem his former experience. I consider myself something of a pesto expert, which goes back to the year I turned 13. 

When I was 13 we went to Italy where I had the world's best pesto sauce. I ate it as much as I could over the 10 days we were there and when I came back to the United States, I searched and searched for the pesto sauce that could stack up. Alas, I never really found it. By the time I became an adult, I kind of stopped going to Italian restaurants because I found that I could just make my own stuff. 

So, it's been years since I've had pesto sauce given all these things. My hankering was palpable, and if I was going to bother, I needed a stellar recipe. So I found THIS RECIPE. The great thing about the recipe is that it's simple (which I love) and easy (even better than simple!) I didn't want to mar this recipe with too many ingredients or over complicated directions. It's pesto, not rocket science. That, and, I haven't got a ton of time on my hands here. The only change I made as that I didn't add the parmesan cheese because I have had to give up dairy (I know, this is horrible). 


So I picked a ton of my fresh basil both purple and green. I was kind of afraid that my recipe was going to come out looking slightly gray because of this combo, but I was pleasantly surprised that it came out a lovely shade of green! 


Two good sized cloves of garlic which are made to look even bigger by the angle and size of this picture. Monster garlic! Mwahahaha! 


One fourth cup of pine nuts seems rather conservative to me, but I followed the recipe and really it was the perfect amount. 


So all these things go into the food processor and you get them gooooood and processed. 


Observe. 


Then you add one half cup olive oil and blend that all together. On the link for the recipe, it give directions for freezing after this step. But if you, like me, want to use it right away..... 


Then you add more oil and stir. 


YUM, right???!!?!

I prepared my pasta and tossed several tablespoons of my pesto in there. It was perfect! My husband got to top his with cheese, and I looked on in envy. There was plenty leftover too, and I was happy to slather this on practically EVERYTHING. One of my favorites was the pesto on toast topped with avocado and a fried egg. Seriously, just try that! 
Also, mixing some of the pesto with a little red sauce and tossing with pasta is a winning combo. 



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