Recipe: It’s Time to Make Pesto

Cary, NC – Right about now, if you have a garden, or a raised bed, or even a pot that contains basil, you are ready to harvest. And that means it’s time to make pesto!

Herb garden containing basil, dill, thyme, cilantro, and two types of parsley

Pesto is one of the easiest Italian pasta sauces to make. It tastes great on just about any shape of pasta from spaghetti to shells, fusilli and bowties. You need only four ingredients and a blender or Cuisinart-type processor and you will have your delicious meal in the time it takes to cook spaghetti (approximately eight minutes).


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried, stripped from stems, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup pinoli (or pine nuts)

To Make:

Place pinoli nuts and garlic into food processor with blade. Pulse on high until completely and evenly crushed to crumbs.

Start to add basil leaves in! Cup batches. Pulse to mash. With second cup, add the cheese and the olives oil. Pulse to blend.

A fresh batch of basil pesto


It is great mixed over a freshly made pot of pasta (try different shapes), as a coating for baked chicken or as a sandwich spread with turkey, chicken. Try making a panini sandwich with your favorite cold cuts, cheese and a spread of pesto. Heaven.

To Store:

Remove from food processor and either top the pasta, or place in an air tight container. Can store for months if refrigerated. Enjoy this taste of summer all the way through the fall if you make a lot and either freeze it in ice cube trays, or sealed tight in canning jars with a thin layer of olive oil over the top. Keeps for months.

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photos Lindsey Chester