Pesto is something that should be in your itty bitty city kitchen arsenal.

It’s a super simple sauce to whip up to toss over pasta or to use as a sandwich spread. Hello tomato, mozzarella and pesto for lunch!

It’s even great to set out in a bowl with some crostini for a cocktail party.

I’ve posted before about parsley pesto, but I haven’t made the traditional basil one yet.

You can make pesto out of any leafy thing really. I’ve done spinach, parsley, mint, ¬†and various combinations. On my to try list is a mushroom pesto I saw in a cook book.

I think one of the points of debate when it comes to pesto is nuts. Do you put them in at all? And what kinds do you use? The traditional approach is to add pine nuts. But I’ve also seen a lot of people use walnuts. I used pistachios in my parsley post.

I don’t really like pine nuts, so I leave them out of my basil pesto.

I love basil and I love the clean crisp taste it has, so I like to do as little to it as possible.

Basically, add a bunch of basil, two garlic cloves and some olive oil into the food processor and buzz away.

Look at that color!

Sprinkle in some parmesan and give it another quick whir and you are in business.


Boil up some water and toss in your pasta of choice. I like bow ties with pesto because the sauce can get stuck in all the little folds.

A little trick: if your pesto is too thick, add a spoonful or two of pasta water to thin it out. The starch in the water will prevent the sauce from getting too runny.


One thought on “Pesto

  1. I love pesto (especially the traditional basil kind) – I didn’t know the trick about the pasta water – thanks for sharing!!

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