Makes enough for a family of four plus extra to pop in the fridge for use over the next few days. Contrary to what I’ve read elsewhere, I find home-made pesto keeps pretty well.

  • 25g pine nuts
  • 75g Parmesan
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • The leaves of 1 basil plant (as sold in most supermarkets)


I’m sure this will horrify the purists, but I think life is too short to spend any time pounding pesto with a pestle and mortar. So I urge you to use your food processor for this recipe. You’ll find it so quick and easy you’ll never buy a jar of pesto again.

  • Toast your pine nuts by putting them in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat and turning occasionally until gently browned.
  • Chop the Parmesan into small pieces and put it into the food processor along with all the other ingredients bar the olive oil. Whizz until you have a green mush.
  • With the blender on slow, gradually pour in the olive oil. Add extra if required, and salt to taste.
  • Serve by stirring in to pasta – I used tagliatelle. I like to pretty it up by serving with an extra blob of pesto, a sprinkling of pine nuts and extra Parmesan.