Alex's serving suggestion: "I love this classic pesto spread on toast with mozzarella or ricotta cheese."

Makes 1 cup


  • 1½ Tbsp. (about 5 cloves) chopped garlic
  • 3 cups basil, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


In a food processor, combine garlic, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pulse until garlic and basil just come together but are not paste-like. With the motor running, slowly pour in olive oil, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Check the texture and flavor, adding up to ¼ cup more olive oil as necessary.

Add pine nuts and pulse to combine (the nuts should still be slightly chunky).

Transfer pesto to a bowl and stir in Parmesan. Season with salt to taste.


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