Better Basil Pesto

Better Basil Pesto

If you don't grow your own basil you should. It's a very durable, resilient plant that loves sunlight and a bit of water. If you plant four or more basil plants, they will produce a large number of leaves and you'll have enough to make pesto every week or two.

Fresh picked basil is much more flavorful that anything you can buy at the store or even the farmer's market. Use it immediately to make this incredible pesto.
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Total: 20 min
  • Yields about 1 cup, enough for 1 pound of pasta
Better Basil Pesto

Carbohydrate Counts

Carbs per serving (1g)

Carb calculations Weight Carbs
Pine nuts (6g)
Basil leaves (3g)
Net Weight (9g)

* Provided for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for insulin dosing advice.

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • In a small skillet over medium-heat, cook garlic (with skin on) until soft and small brown spots appear on skin, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and remove skins with a knife. Finely mince or press into a large bowl.
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • In now empty skillet, lightly toast pine nuts over medium heat, stirring frequently until light brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a mortar or food processor.
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
  • Wash basil and parsley. Pat or spin dry.
  • If you have a large mortar and pestle, then place leaves in mortar and smash with pestle until finely ground.
  • If you do not have a mortar and pestle, then place basil and parsley in a large plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, roll over leaves until bruised. Transfer leave to the bowl of a food processor.
  • reserved pine nuts
  • reserved garlic
  • 7 tablespoons high quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Add pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to mortar or bowl of food processor. Smash with pestle or process with food processor until finely ground.
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Transfer to a small bowl and add Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine. Taste and add additional salt or pepper as desired.
  • Pesto and Pasta
  • If serving over pasta, cook pasta according to package directions. When al dente, remove from heat and drain. Pour pesto into pot with cooked pasta and stir to combine. Serve immediately. With pasta, carb-to-gram ratio is 0.3126 carbs per gram.
  • Storing Leftovers
  • Pesto can be kept in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil (1 to 2 tablespoons) on the surface. Will keep in the fridge for 4 days, or can be frozen for up to one month.
From . ( Adapted from Cook's Illustrated. July 1996.
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