Ladies, homemade pesto sauce is one of my favorite things to make in the summer and it is very easy! In my opinion homemade pesto sauce tastes better than the mixes & pre bottled stuf they sell in the grocery store especially during this time of year when the ingredients are easy to find! You can use this sauce with any kind of pasta (I am obsessed with angel hair and whole wheat angel hair when I can find it) and any kind of poultry or seafood. Several vegaetables taste also taste good with the sauce asparagus (my favorite), broccoli, spinach, zuchini, &fresh grape tomatoes. There are also variations of the sauce which I will tell you about also.
2 cups basil leaves (Basil is in season and you can get big bunches at farmers markets now for really cheap!)
2-4 cloves garlic (you can use minced garlic if you don’t have fresh) can use more or less depending on your taste I LOVE GARLIC!
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/3 cup Romano or parmesan cheese (I prefer to buy fresh Parmigiano Reggiano it makes a diffence in taste IMO)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt (or Kosher Salt) and pepper to taste
Toast the pine nuts over medium low heat in a small dry skillet until lightly browned . (only a couple of minutes BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN!!!)
Chop the basil, garlic and toasted pine nuts in a food processor or blender.(I use a hand blender)
Once roughly chopped, slowly add the olive oil.
Blend slowly until you a nice smooth texture.
After the sauce is blended, stir in the cheese by hand.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
For a creamy pesto sauce: reduce heavy cream & 1 tablespoon of butter and stir in above mixture.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto: Add half a bottle of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil to above recipe
Toss this sauce with pasta of yor choice.
If you are adding seafood (i.e. shrimp scallops) I marinade with some fresh herbs(parsley, basil, & oregano), cooking wine, fresh ground pepper and sear in a pan.
If you are adding chicken I will season similar to the seafood and sear in a pan for color and then simmer in chicken broth to get it nice and tender.
vegatables I sautee in extra virgin olive oil and garlic.
Toss your add ins with Pesto sauce and Voila a restaurant quality meal!