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About this recipe: The only recipe you need to see how to make pesto! A foolproof and classic pesto recipe made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.


Serves: 16 

  • 110g (4 oz) basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 75g (3 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 110ml (4 fl oz) olive oil
  • 30g (1 oz) pine nuts
  • 55g (2 oz) chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Prep:5min  ›  Ready in:5min 

  1. Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add parsley if desired.


Store your pesto in a glass jar with a layer of olive oil on top - it will keep this way for longer in the fridge. When you want some pesto, simply drain off the olive oil.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews (13)

Cook of the House

Something else. Who doesn't love pesto? This is a very good basic recipe. I used toasted pine nuts, for extra flavour, and omitted the parsley. I also added pepper. I made several batches of this, when the basil was in season, and froze several portions to use later (in pasta, on fish or chicken, on pizza, etc.) Thanks for sharing this GOOD recipe! - 24 Jul 2008


This is it! Real, authentic pesto. I made several batches this morning with our fresh garden basil and my son was in pesto heaven! If you are making and freezing in batches as I am, then cover the top of each container with a thin layer of olive oil. Basil tends to turn brown when exposed to air. When you thaw the container, the basil won't turn colour. Use the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can afford! Thanks for the great recipe! - 24 Jul 2008


Perfect ratio of ingredients for a perfect pesto! To turn it into a pasta sauce, I combined it with a little double cream in a frying pan before adding cooked chicken breast. To turn it into a salad dressing, I just added extra olive oil to taste. Great Recipe! - 05 Feb 2014

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