Pesto is an easy and delicious way to enjoy fresh basil. Toss this fragrant, flavorful pesto with angel hair pasta, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator or spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Transfer frozen pesto cubes to a heavy-duty freezer bag.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings of pasta (with ¾ cup pesto)
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (16-ounce) package angel hair pasta
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
- Process the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender for 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add cheese, salt, and pepper, and process for 30 seconds.
- Transfer pesto to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add desired amount of pesto and chopped tomato, tossing well.
- Garnish with freshly minced basil.
Featured Ingredient: Basil
Basil is most commonly paired with tomatoes, and in the summertime, there isn't much that can beat a fresh tomato slice with minced basil. Yet basil complements a wide variety of delicious foods. With such versatility, it's an excellent herb to grow yourself. Not only will doing so be more cost-effective than buying it at the grocery store, but you'll be able to pick just the amount you want when you need it. Basil can be grown in a small pot on a windowsill inside for several months. For more abundant harvests and variety, grow a few different types it in a container or in a garden bed outside. Basil is a warm weather plant, but it also stores nicely when pureed with water or oil, or turned into pesto, then frozen. For the fullest flavor when using in a hot dish, add fresh basil within the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking time. Learn how easy it is to grow your own basil.