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“Back to Basics” Basil Pesto

September 22, 2009

Yeah yeah, I know…I stole the headline “Back to Basics” from Ina Garten from Food Network. I love her show, and the simplicity of all her meals. Well, they’re not exactly “simple”, but they look so fresh and wholesome. Seriously, if I am ever in NY, I might or might not swing by the Hamptons in hopes that she will see me and invite me in for a meal.

I am always on the lookout for good pesto recipes because prepared pesto from the stores are so caloric! What do they put in there??? That is probably why this sauce is so darn good, from the Parmesan and olive oil. You can find a reason to use pesto on almost everything. Toss some pasta in some pesto for a simple vegetarian meal or use it as a base for a pesto pizza. Drizzle pesto over some roasted vegetables for a quick side dish. Make a substantial amount of this sauce because you will want to use it in every recipe. This pesto is so simple—just basil, garlic, cheese, walnuts and olive oil. You can substitute the walnuts for any nuts you have on hand. They make a great mix in for their crunch and mild flavor.

“Back to Basics” Basil Pesto

About 1 cup


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency.


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