Most modern recipes, including this one, call for making pesto with a food processor to combine the ingredients. This method works well, but produces a very homogenized final result. For a more traditional approach, try hand-chopping the individual ingredients. The individual components will be less uniform, resulting in more distinct individual flavors among each bite.
2 c. fresh basil, loosely packed
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
2–3 garlic cloves, peeled (amount based on personal taste and strength of garlic variety used).
1/3 c. plus 2 T. really good extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Remove basil leaves from stems, then wash and pat dry. Add basil, pine nuts, and peeled garlic gloves to food processor or blender. Quickly pulse until barely combined, then add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and blend thoroughly.
Transfer to a medium glass bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese and remaining olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Use immediately. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays covered with a layer of olive oil. Once frozen, remove “pesto cubes” from trays and store in freezer-safe plastic bags for future use in soups or stews.
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