How To Make Pesto Sauce
Learn how to make pesto for use as a sauce or dip. This Italian condiment adds a burst of fresh flavor to any dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
- 2 cups basil leaves (60g, 2 ounces) packed
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves (1g)
- 3 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (30g, 1 ounce) raw
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (120ml)
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (8g, 1/4 ounce)
- black pepper as needed for seasoning
Place the basil and parsley in a resealable plastic bag. Use a rolling pin or meat cleaver to lightly bruise the herbs and greens. Transfer to a food processor or blender.
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Toast garlic until the outsides are lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally, about 8 minutes. Peel garlic and add to food processor.
Place pine nuts in the same pan and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to food processor.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the food processor.
Process pesto by pulsing five times to help break down the basil and garlic.
Turn food processor on low speed, as its running slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil until a smooth pesto with some smaller pieces is formed, about 10 seconds from start to finish.
Add the Pecorino Romano cheese to the pesto and process on low speed for 5 seconds.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Transfer pesto to a small bowl.
Pesto can be stored in an airtight container, using plastic wrap to cover the surface with no air space and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
MAKE IT VEGAN OR DAIRY-FREE: Remove the cheese or use vegan cheese.
MAKE IT WHOLE30 OR PALEO: Remove the cheese and use sea salt.
- Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, The Science of Good Cooking.
- Recipe Makes: 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 1 Serving: 1 tablespoon
- Parmesan cheese can be substituted for Pecorino Romano cheese.
- If using basil pesto recipe for pasta, mix in 3 to 4 tablespoons of the hot pasta water to thin out the sauce.
Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg