Updated 10/21--here's a picture of the homemade pesto sauce on top of a block of cream cheese, yum!  You can see what it looks like better in this picture.

I asked my husband to take a picture of the pesto, but I think he misunderstood what I wanted so here's a pic of the finished bow-tie pasta with the pesto on it. I think you all probably know what pesto looks like so we'll just use this picture.

Homemade pesto is so good. If you haven't made it--do it. It isn't difficult and you will look like a culinary hero. I make a few batches now and then and then freeze them in ice cube trays. Then once it's frozen I put it all in a ziploc bag in the freezer and it's ready to go. Just grab a few "pesto cubes" and let them thaw on the counter in a bowl. I've attempted twice to grow my own basil...just doesn't work out for me. Trader Joe's has great prices on basil and I usually buy 2 of the big containers of it.

Using a food processer makes this so much easier. We are up at my in-laws cabin and only had a blender to use so I made do with that but it's much more time intensive to try to get the blender to work. I never measure when I make this so I tried really hard to measure stuff as I was putting it in. Basically use enough oil to get the pesto to the consistency you like. These are all rough measurements to get you started.

Basil Pesto

1 1/2 cups olive oil
2 oz or 1/4 cup pine nuts
4-6 oz fresh parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic
6-7 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 lemon, juiced
sea salt or kosher salt to taste

Cut your piece of parmesan into hunks (discarding the rind) and throw that and the pine nuts into the food processor. Pulse the processor until the cheese and nuts are ground into coarse pieces. Add in the garlic and pulse a few more times. Add in all the basil (or as much fits) and blend until incorporated. It should look like a bright green chunky paste. Don't blend it too fine. Slowly stream in the olive oil while the processor is running. Once the pesto is at the consistency you like add lemon juice and salt. Toss the pesto into hot pasta, spread on bread for a yummy bruschetta, use as a pizza sauce with a little feta and sundried tomatoes and cubed chicken, or eat it with a spoon. So good.

When tossing with pasta I usually add a ladle-full of the pasta water or a little bit of alfredo sauce to thin it a bit.

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