by Susan Hanna
Whether it’s from the farmers’ market, the supermarket or your own back yard, there’s nothing like a big bunch of fragrant basil. While this wonderful herb is at its peak, whip up this luscious pesto from Bon Appetit to freeze or use right away as a pasta sauce.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Make sure the pine nuts do not contain additives and the butter contains only cream, with no colour added. Genuine Parmesan is additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.
- ½ cup (125 ml) pine nuts
- 3 oz. (85 g) Parmesan, grated (about ¾ cup/185 ml)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 6 cups (4.5 L) basil leaves (about 3 bunches)
- ¾ cup (185 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. (30 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pasta cooking liquid
- 12 oz. (340 g) dried spaghetti or other long pasta
- Grated Parmesan for serving
- Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C). Toast pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once halfway through, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes.
- Transfer to a food processor and let cool. Add cheese and garlic and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute.
- Add basil and place the top back on. With the motor running, add oil in a slow and steady stream until pesto is mostly smooth, with just a few flecks of green, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
- Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Top with ½” oil to prevent browning. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface, and chill. You can also freeze it.
- Cook 12 oz. dried pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup (125 ml) pasta cooking liquid.
- Place pesto and 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, in a large bowl. Add pasta and ¼ cup (60 ml) pasta cooking liquid. Using tongs, toss vigorously, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Season with salt.
- Divide pasta among bowls. Top with finely grated Parmesan.
From Bon Appetit