4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley sprigs (optional)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed, more or less
Place all ingredients in the food processor. Process to chop ingredients. Slowly add oil to create a paste. Use immediately or refrigerate up to two weeks. Freeze for longer keeping.
*Note: To keep the pesto brightly green looking, I blanch the basil in boiling water very briefly then shock in ice water. The addition of parsley will also give the pesto a beautiful green appearance, as well as a few drops of lemon juice. To use pesto as a sauce for pasta, thin out the pesto by adding the pasta cooking water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.