Being a Mom to 11 year old twins makes for a zany, unpredictable, yet richly rewarding life. Thank goodness for my wonderfully supportive hubby who keeps me grounded. I'm a writer, an editor and an online media professional. I write about pretty much anything that inspires me. I enjoy interviewing interesting people and sharing my thoughts on my family's experiences at various events and activities. I might also share a favorite recipe or two, particularly if it's something I've thrown together that turns out to be yummy! Outside of contributing to, you can also find me at and over at my blog

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Homemade Basil Pesto

Pesto is such a versatile sauce. I like to use it over pasta, as a base on pizza and as a spread on baguette slices topped with tomatoes and cheese. Speaking of pizza, here’s a recipe for my low carb portabella mushroom pizzas using pesto as a base.

I grow fresh sweet basil in my herb garden and my basil plants have been blooming profusely over the summer. They’re starting to slow down a bit so I decided to harvest a lot of basil leaves to make a huge batch of fresh basil pesto. Pesto freezes well so I used a little bit for our chicken and pasta dinner the other night and froze the rest (it’ll keep about 6 – 8 months). This recipe yields about four cups of nice, strong flavored pesto.

Here’s what I used:

8 cups of basil leaves lightly packed
1  1/4 cups of raw pine nuts, shelled (you can use walnuts, if you prefer)
6 big cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large food processor, add half the basil leaves and pulse a few times to condense then add the remaining basil leaves and pine nuts. (Note: if you use walnuts, pulse them in the food processor before you add any basil leaves.) Pulse a few times until the mixture is ground then add chopped garlic and pulse a few more times until the garlic is finely chopped. Scrape bowl as needed. Turn the food processor on and add the olive oil a little bit at a time. Once mixed well, add the grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and pulse until mixed well. Scrape bowl as needed. You should end up with a thick, sticky, slightly moist mixture. That’s it!

Set aside what you think you’ll need for current use and freeze the rest of the batch. Remember, pesto has a strong flavor so a little goes a long way. Start adding the sauce a little bit at a time then adjust the flavor to your liking.

Freezing: There are a couple of ways you can do this. There is the ice cube tray method which yields small portions of the pesto. I like to keep things simpler so I use 1 inch high by 4 inch wide plastic containers with lids. It’s a bigger portion, but we use a lot of pesto! Whichever method you use, be sure to label your container with a permanent marker.


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Comments (3)

  1. Erika@BeyondPasta 09/22/2011 at 11:54 am

    Yummy! That looks good! I recently published the original Italian recipe for pesto, straight from Genova

    • Mina Frannea 09/22/2011 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks! Like your blog–will have to try some of your recipes.

      Mortar and Pestel? I have one, but couldn’t imagine making pesto without a food processor. LOL!

  2. Rachael Herrscher 09/22/2011 at 9:43 am

    looks so yummy! I also dig the ice cube tray idea — perfect for storage!