- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan grated - see notes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil approx.
Place the basil leaves in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
Add in the garlic, grated parmesan and pine nuts and blend until it forms a chunky paste. You may need to stir together with a spoon between blending to make sure it is well combined.
I like to transfer the mixture to a pestle & mortar at this point to finish it off but you can leave it in your processor if you don't have one.
Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend into the paste before starting to add the oil one tablespoon at a time. Stir each spoon in fully before adding the next and stop when it reaches the consistency of a runny paste - this should be about 1/3 cup.
Once you are happy with the consistency it is ready to use! Serve simply stirred through freshly cooked spaghetti, garnished with basil leaves. Add 1 tbsp of pesto per portion of pasta.
You can use this not only as a pasta sauce but to zest up houmous, pizza, salad dressing or even as a barbecue marinade on burgers, buns or corn on the cob.
Keep it stored in the fridge for around 3-5 days and the flavour will develop even more.
I used the Violife Prosociano vegan Parmesan.