I've had enough Basil-gluts now to say with some confidence, I have a pretty decent Pesto recipe under my belt.
It's all about balance with Pesto - the right proportions of acid from lemon, sweetness from Parmesan and pine nuts, and punch from garlic. Plus super fresh, home-grown Ligurian Basil, where at all possible! Even if you haven't got home grown basil, a home made pesto using any fresh basil cannot compare with the slurry that comes in a jar. So simple but somehow rather splendid.
This recipe is so simple you really want quality ingredients; it's a celebration of these simple flavours, so choose those that shine.. Makes approx 1 small jam jar.
100g Basil leaves
60g Parmesan, cut in small chunks.
50g Pine nuts, lightly toasted (with a few chili flakes, if desired. I do desire)
2 fat cloves of garlic (Roast for 10 mins where desired, for less 'heat')
Juice of 1/2 lemon
50ml approx Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1. Add the basil, Parmesan, Pine nuts, and garlic to a food processor and blitz in bursts, till you have coarse crumbs.
2. Season with lemon juice and S&P then blitz again, adding the oil in stages, until desired consistency is achieved. EASY!
Serve stirred through fresh Spaghetti, and ideally, accompanied by a large glass of Chianti
Keep any leftover pesto (unlikely) for about a week in the fridge, keeping the surface covered in oil.