Forget that bland jar of oily pesto you bought at the store. Read on for my classic homemade pesto recipe!
Apparently the key to a successful blog is to find a niche and I can see that’s probably true. You’ll find plenty of blogs sharing healthy recipes, vegetarian recipes, some share recipes to make in a slow cooker others go one step further sharing puddings made out of vegetables!
I think it’s fair to say that this blog doesn’t have a niche. I share a little bit of everything, which is perhaps why no-one has offered me a cook book deal yet! There’s still time…right?!
Cooking from scratch
What I do try to do with this blog is share simple, tasty recipes that anyone can cook. I am not a trained chef, I have no nutritional qualifications and to be quite frank, I don’t have that much free time on my hands! All I want to do is show that you can eat well without resorting to ready made packets, mixes and sauces every day of the week.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do use store bought shortcuts every now and then. (Puff pastry I’m looking at you!) But, cooking from scratch always tastes SO much better so when I can I like to swap out some of my favourite store bought sauces for my own home made versions.
Pesto is one of those sauces that we ALWAYS have a jar of in the fridge. Pesto pasta is such a simple lunch or dinner and can be rustled up in minutes (especially if you’re making it with fresh pasta). When I was a student I absolutely lived off of pesto pasta and even now we have it probably once a week!
I was surprised then that I’d never actually shared a recipe for a classic homemade pesto. I did have two variations (Kale and Walnut Pesto / Roasted Red Pepper Pesto) but not the regular kind! Clearly that needed rectifying…
It doesn’t take too many ingredients to make pesto from scratch – just basil, Parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil. A little garlic and lemon plus seasoning take it to another level.
Blitz it up
I love that, when you make your own pesto, you can easily adapt the recipe to your own taste. If you like it a little thinner, just add more olive oil. Like it quite salty, then chuck in more Parmesan. Me? I like it packed full of basil so that it’s the brightest shade of green you ever did see!
I’d definitely recommend toasting your pine nuts first but if you just can’ be bothered I won’t judge. Just chuck all of the ingredients in your blend and blitz it up! It really is that easy!
My recipe will make about 250 ml (or one jar’s worth). You can easily multiply it if you’re in need of a BIG batch because you love pesto as much as I do.
To find out about growing your own basil to make this Classic Pesto recipe click here.
- 75g parmesan (or vegetarian Italian hard cheese)
- 50g pine nuts (toasted)
- 100g basil
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of half a lemon
- Add the parmesan to your blender and pulse until it has grated.
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blitz on high for 1 minute or until a smooth sauce has formed.
- Place in a sterilised jar and top with a little more live oil.
- Use within 1 month.
You can use this pesto in all sorts of pasta dishes, in tarts or on bruschetta. What do you like to do with a jar of fresh pesto? Let me know if the comments.