4cupsof fresh basil leavesabout 4-ounces I actually weighed the leaves
1garlic clovesgrated (or more, if desired)
½cupextra-virgin olive oil
¾cupparmesan cheese blendfreshly grated (any variety of hard salty aged cheese)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepperto taste
Begin by toasting the pine nuts. Place them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn brown; about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan immediately or they will start to burn. Pour the pine nuts into a bowl to cool completely before making the pesto. This should take about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, In a food processor, combine half the basil leaves, cooled pine nuts, and garlic. Pulse a couple of times. The process until everything is finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the other half of the basil leaves and the cheeses. Process again until everything is uniform. Scrape down the sides as necessary.
With the motor running, stream in the extra-virgin olive oil. Blend them until it forms a paste. Scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times. Blend until the olive oil emulsifies into the basil and the pesto is smooth. Use more or less depending on what texture you want (see notes).
Give the pesto a taste, then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Be careful! The cheeses used are salty so use the salt sparingly, tasting between each addition. Give the pesto a quick pulse after adding salt and pepper to blend it into the pesto.
Olive Oil: There are many variables when it comes to consistency, so stream in a little of the olive oil at a time. If it is still too thick when all the olive oil is added, add a tablespoon at a time to make it thinner. Thinner pesto works better with pasta.Storage: Keep covered, air-tight, in the fridge until you’re ready to use it; this will prevent it from oxidizing and turning dark.
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