Pesto was a lifesaver for us when we had a supper fussy toddler (Ezra) as it was one of the few things he would eat, aside from plain pasta with butter.
I still rely on pesto from jars for a super fast dinner, but for a truly delicious pesto we make our own.
I can’t credit any one person for this particular recipe as I pretty much cobbled it together from a variety of recipes online, after checking out Jamie Oliver’s Pesto Recipe and deciding to put a twist on it.
You could make pesto in less than the time it takes to boil the pasta, especially if you whizz it in a food processor. But since I involve my little helpers and we use a pestle and mortar, it takes a bit longer, but it’s a lot more fun (and I’m convinced that grinding by hand helps bring out the flavours)!
Fresh basil – about 3 handfuls
Fresh parsley – a couple of handfuls (we use a higher basil to parsley ratio)
Pine nuts or Cashew Nuts (we prefer the latter)
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Grated Parmesan Cheese – about a cup
How to Make Pesto (with the Babes)
Toast the nuts lightly in an open pan on the stove before transferring to the mortar and grinding with pestle. Chop garlic as small as possible, add to mortar and grind some more. Pluck the basil and parsley leaves, shred or chop finely and grind with the mix. Add the cheese and keep grinding and mixing, savouring the aroma! Chuck in a couple of glugs of olive oil. Season to taste with black pepper and salt. Serve in spoonfuls over warm pasta.
Tip: We like to top off the dish with some stir-fried diced bacon and mushrooms.
Fresh pesto is also great spread over grilled chicken breasts or salmon parcels.