Pesto pasta is such an easy dish that once you’ve mastered making it at home you’ll wonder why you ever bought it in a jar.
The key with making it yourself is actually to be as lazy as possible with the crushing and the mixing.
The major difference between really good homemade pesto to the stuff you get in a jar is texture.
Pre-made pesto is often one homogenous paste with very little variation and bite.
But this is exactly what makes a homemade pesto so delicious and simple.
There’s nothing wring with a large, ripped piece of basil here and some chunks of pine nut there.
It give the dish light and shade and varies up the flavours as you go, but still lets them all work together.
Get yourself a decent pestle and mortar and you’ll see all the difference.
You can make pesto in a food processor or blender, but again, I think you miss out on that delightful variation when things are a bit more rustic.
3 handfuls fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1 handful of pine nuts
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
pasta of choice, to serve
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Wash and pick your basil leaves off the stalks and put your pasta on to cook – as per the packet instructions.
Place your basil, pine nuts, and crushed garlic into a heavy pestle and mortar and lightly crush.
Add a splash of olive oil to loosen the mix.
Grate in fresh Parmesan and add a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.
Give it a final, loose mix.
Drain your pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
Put your pasta back into the warm pot, stir your pesto through and loosen it with splash of pasta cooking water if you need to.
Plate it up and top with an extra drizzle of olive oil.