Classic Pesto

This basil sauce is traditionally made using a mortar and pestle to pound it into a paste. This recipe uses a food processor for an easier preparation, but you could also use a blender. Pesto can be used as a pasta sauce, a sandwich spread, or a stuffing enhancement. It also is the perfect condiment to stir into minestrone.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1⁄3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. plain yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the pine nuts out in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet pan; bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, chop the garlic and nuts together to make a paste.
  • Add the basil and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the food processor and process with the nuts and garlic.
  • With the processor running and the pour hole on the top open, pour the rest of the oil in a thin stream into the basil mixture to form a purée.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and salt, and process to blend.
  • Store with a teaspoon of plain yogurt stirred into the pesto to prevent it from turning black.