This homemade pesto sauce recipe is quick and easy to prepare that it should not take you more than 15 minutes to do it.
People who like pesto pasta aren’t the only ones who will love this homemade pesto sauce recipe. Practical homemakers who know that they can save a lot if they make their own pesto sauce will also appreciate this post.
Pesto sauce is very versatile as it can be used to make pasta, chicken, or fish more flavorful. Sure, you can always buy a jar of pesto sauce in the grocery. But what if you can’t find one in your neighborhood store?
It is during this scenario when you will appreciate learning how to make your own homemade pesto sauce. With homemade pesto sauce, you can always make your pasta or meat more flavorful.
You don’t really need a lot of ingredients to make your own pesto sauce. The main ingredient, fresh basil, is very much in abundance in the summer. Just head to a farmer’s market and you will likely find one, and at a low price at that.
And as you will learn after reading this article, making your own pesto sauce is so easy.
- 1-2 cups of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of freshly grated Romano cheese
- 1/3 cup of pine nut or chopped walnuts
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons of minced garlic cloves
- Salt, ground black pepper
Tip 1: Without a doubt, the most important ingredient here is the basil. You need to get the best fresh basil that you can– whether you grow it in your garden or you can buy one from a farmer’s market.
Tip 2: You can also use Parmesan cheese instead of Romano cheese. I just used Romano in this recipe because it has a stronger flavor, which I like.
Other recipes also suggest using butter. It supposedly helps in binding the sauce. But I don’t think you need one if you’re after the flavor, as it doesn’t really affect the taste of the sauce.
Tip 3: Some recipes recommend using toasting the pine nut first because it supposedly enhances the nutty flavor. I say you don’t need to—there’s really not much of a difference.
What You’ll Need:
- Food processor or mortar and pestle
- Steel bowl
Tip 4: Did you know that pesto come from the Italian word pestare, which literally means to crush? The traditional way of preparing pesto sauce is by using a mortar and pestle.
So if you don’t have a food processor at home, you can use a mortar and pestle instead to crush the ingredients and make your own homemade pesto sauce.
Step by Step Instructions:
- Combine 1 cup of the basil leaves with the other ingredients—nuts, cheese, and garlic cloves in the food processor. Add salt to taste. Blend these ingredients continuously until all of them are finely chopped.
If you’re using a mortar and pestle, start by combining garlic and salt, and then crushing the garlic until it becomes pasty. Add a handful of basil leaves and crush them against the side of the mortar.
The leaves should be crushed until you add the next handful. The best course of action here is to grind down the leaves by working the pestle in a circular motion. Don’t bash the leaves with pestle.
When you notice the green juice staining the side of the mortar, it means you can add the pine nuts. After grinding down the nuts, add cheese. Continue to grind the ingredients until you have a good paste going.
- Pour the chopped basil in a steel bowl and add the olive oil in a thin stream. Stir it. If you want the paste to be fantastic for sandwiches and pizza, use less olive oil. More olive oil, though, makes the sauce yummy for pastas.
- Taste to adjust. You can add more salt, black pepper, nuts, cheese or garlic as needed.
- You can now use your pesto sauce. Spread it onto toasted bread slices, baked potatoes, or toast with pasta.
If you don’t want to use it right away, you will have to store it immediately because it would get dark and brownish in color very quickly. Store it in a very small container. Eliminate air pockets by thoroughly pressing the pesto.
Pour olive oil over the surface, cover the bottle, and put in the fridge. It should be safe to use for up to a week. You can also freeze it, which will make it safe to use for months.
Making your own pesto sauce at home is really very easy. It should not take you more than 20 minutes to do it.
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Hi, I’m Susan Conley, a family woman and creator of cookthestone.com. I know you’re here because of your love with cooking and I really appreciate that. Cooking the stone is created to please my deep love for food and share the incredible knowledge I have had during my lifetime.