Pesto literally means "paste" in Italian. And there have come to be many different varieties of this tasty paste. But my favorite is still the traditional basil pesto. The proportions of the ingredients may be altered to the cook's preference.


2 cloves GarlicLarge, or 3 smaller cloves
½ cup Pine Nuts
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OilApproximate, depending on the consistency preferred
¼ tsp White PepperOptional
1 cup Basil, FreshJust the leaves, washed; fine to leave some of the water adhering to the leaves
1 cup ParsleyJust the sprigs, washed; fine to leave a little water which adheres to the sprigs


1 Wash the basil and parsley thoroughly. Let it drain but it doesn't need to be totally dry.
2 I use a food processor, though my mother was accustomed to using a mortar and pestle. Use the steel blade in the processor. Place in processor the basil, parsley, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, white pepper (if using), and garlic (which I cut into a few pieces).
3 At first, I use the pulse switch to mix the ingredients. Once mixed, let the processor run continuously so that the mixture become ground well. Let it become a sort of ground-up mass.
4 With processor running, slowly add olive oil until mixture becomes congealed and paste-like. Turn off processor.
5 Check pesto to see if it is the right consistency. To begin with, be a little miserly with the olive oil. You can always add a little extra if needed. I sometimes add a little water, rather than more oil because I prefer the pesto not too oily.
6 The pesto is now ready to mix with pasta, use in sauces, add on to pizza dough, or use in any way your inspiration leads.