One of my favorite summer herbs is basil: its fragrant aroma and versatility makes it an irresistible ingredient in appetizers, salads, and main courses. Find it available in bunches (with or without its roots), or as small plants, fresh and abundant at local farmer's markets. I grow some every year for my favorite basil pesto recipe, and I make extra to freeze for the winter. This year I planted a 6 pack of small basil plants in an outdoor planter, which grew into 18-inch tall plants. While I don't claim to have a green thumb, these plants yielded some beautiful basil leaves, which I picked for use in the recipe you see here. As with any recipe, be sure to use the freshest and best ingredients available for an amazing, delicious pesto!
Basil Pesto for 2
- 1/2 cup packed basil
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Combine the following ingredients together in a blender or food processor: basil, oil, garlic, pine nuts, and pinch of salt. (If doing this by hand using a mortar and pestle, pound the dry ingredients together first, then add the olive oil).
Blend into a smooth green sauce.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the cheese.
Prepare your favorite pasta. I usually follow the rule of thumb and make about 1/4 lb. per person.
I prepared rotini pasta for this dish, which has a shape that holds the pesto really well. Add your pesto to hot pasta, using as much as you like. Also makes a great appetizer spread on toasted French bread. Store any extra in the fridge, but be sure to use it within a few days.
Tips for Freezing: Withhold the cheese to add later on, and freeze in small batches or cube sized containers for easy defrosting to add to favorite recipes. Enjoy!
Nicoletta is a lifelong artist and art educator, with an M.A. in Art Education and Administration. She travels the world seeking cultural inspiration for her art, and has worked in fibers, acrylics, oils, and sculpture. Her current work is inspired by the reinvention of the mundane zipper, elevated to an art form into unexpected jewelry designs, and shown throughout the New York/New Jersey area as Artologie Zipper Jewelry.