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Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil Pesto Recipe

After the pesto is made, you can pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface to slow the discoloration.


  • 60g sweet basil leaves
  • a few flat-leaf parsley leaves (gives the pesto an attractive vibrant green colour)
  • 30g toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 60g Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese) cheese
  • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


You need a special type of food processor with a tube opening on top. I don’t have it so I used a normal blender together with a mortar and pestle.


Blend basil, parsley, nuts, garlic and cheese until well combined. With the blender motor still running, gradually pour in oil to achieve a thick, smooth consistency. If the pesto becomes too thick, add more oil. Since I do not have this special type of blender, I transfer the contents to a mortar and pestle after blending. Pound the ingredients using one hand while slowly pouring the oil with your other hand. Season with salt and pepper, or more cheese to taste. Keeps in fridge for about a week.

Noob Cook Tips

1. You can add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar if you like a slight tangy taste.
2. You can also freeze the excess pesto in ice cube trays. Omit the cheese from the recipe and only add them when you thaw the pesto (tip from Simply Recipes). When freezing, secure the ice cube tray with cling wrap and once frozen, store the pesto cubes in ziplock bags in the freezer (tip from Instructables).

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35 comments on “Basil Pesto”

  1. Oh this one sounds really good! I’ve never really had any type of pesto sauce other than the usual pine nuts. This, I’d love to try (I sooo wish Macadamia nuts were cheaper). Lovely post!

  2. Love your pesto…Looks so fresh and delicious.

  3. yum! that’s the best with home made pesto! So fressssh. We used to have our own basil plant and I made heaps of it! Esp with the food processor.. keke. but now that our plant died…

    i resorted to buying jars again. dOH!

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  5. I really like your clear instructions. They help cooking newbies like me! Your mortar and pestle is gorgeous! May I know where you bought it from?

  6. Add to a basic cream sauce for creamy pesto. Yum!

  7. This looks so healthy n yummy but alas, I’ve no blender…any good off-the-shelf brand to recommend?

  8. hi,

    what kind of parmesan cheese do u use? the shredded packet type or one big piece and u slice/cut them accordingly?

    if u buy the chunk type, how long can it last? how to store it?

    sorry, i asked cause i once bought one chunk of cheddar for my son(refused to buy the processed cheddar) and the consumption is rather slow. after some time being kept in fridge in a container, the smell of the cheese becomes stronger and there was a whitish layer covering it, not sure if it was fungal. hence i’d like to know about storage.

    didnt get any chunky cheese from then on. for the adults, we used kraft processed slice cheese :(

    thanks :)

    • I buy the shredded packet type from supermarket. one packet less than S$10. I bought chunk type before, I wrap with brown paper and store in crisper section of fridge and use it within a week. Hope this helps.

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