The best basil pesto

The best basil pesto

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  • Makes 1 cup
  • Easy
  • 15 minutes


  • 80 g pine nuts
  • 120 g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 3 bunches basil leaves
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t sea salt

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Toast the pine nuts on a baking tray, tossing once halfway through, until golden brown, about 5–7 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor and allow to cool. Add the cheese and garlic and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the basil and place the top back on. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow and steady stream until the pesto is almost smooth, with just a few flecks of green, about 1 minute. Season with salt.

Cook’s note: The key here is adding the basil right at the end so that it doesn’t lose its flavour or colour.

If you want to serve this with pasta, use long pasta such as spaghetti or linguine; the pesto sticks to the longer strands. Place the pesto and 2 T butter in a bowl, then add the cooked pasta and ¼ cup cooking water. Toss, using tongs, until the pasta is coated in the pesto. Add more water if necessary and season with salt.

Hannah Lewry Recipe by: Hannah Lewry
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Woolworths TASTE’s Food Editor is passionate about conjuring up fresh ideas for fast and easy dishes that taste as great as they look. Turn to her expertise for everything from time-saving mid-week food to lazy weekend meals. You’ll have a lot of fun in the kitchen while you’re about it.

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