The first time I had real honest-to-goodness Italian pesto in Riomaggiore, Italy in 1994, I thought that I might swoon right off the craggy Ligurian coast and into the deep blue Mediterranean sea. Basil grows in Liguria better than any place else in the world, hands down. The sea air infuses the basil leaves with some kind of magical properties.
For years after, I was in hot pursuit of a pesto in America that would stand on its own. Now that I live in Sunny CA, I’ve found the basil to be absolutely fantastic. Year Round. I use a Cuisinart Mini Food Processor, but you are welcome to do it the old fashioned way with a Mortar and Pestle, if you are feeling it.
Use more olive oil for a smoother pesto (great for pastas) and less oil for a chunkier pesto (for caprese, salads, soups, meats, fish, or to eat plain out of a bowl).
Make this pesto…for the one you love…especially if you like attention, crave praise, or just want to get laid.
2 cups basil leaves washed and patted dry
1/3-1/2 cup high-end olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (raw or toasted, your preference)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
Salt & Pepper (completely optional, usually just the parmesan will be salty enough)
Place the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil into the food processor. Grind until chopped, about 3-5 pulses. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the walls halfway through. Add the parmesan, pulse 2-3 more times until the pesto is your desired consistency.