Alex's book of recipes

Basil pesto

Classic basil pesto.


120g fresh basil leaves

50g freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese

100g (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil

100g pine nuts

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times.

Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.

Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste.


This recipe is pretty sensitive to the freshness of the basil; you may need to modify quantities based on taste.