Basil is one of my favorite herbs to use while cooking. My family is originally from Sicily, and we love to make a variety of Italian dishes and desserts. I recently adopted a basil plant for my kitchen. It has settled nicely into its pot on my counter and the aroma makes me crave Italian food on a daily basis.
This past weekend I made gnocchi from scratch for the first time. It was a laborious process because of the multiple steps, but it was worth the effort! I combined it with a spicy tomato sauce, however next time I set out to make my own pasta I would love to use this pesto recipe instead.
In your blender, mix 4 cloves of garlic, 2 cups freshly picked basil, 1/4 cup nuts (pine nuts or walnuts), 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil. As you blend, gradually add another 1/4 cup of olive oil. Pour into a bowl. Stir in 3 oz. just-grated Parmesan or other firm cheese.
Use pesto right away. If you must keep it, store in an airtight container (air exposure makes pesto turn brown). To freeze pesto, omit cheese, adding only when thawed and ready to serve.