Pesto Besto is a quick, amazing basil “sauce” for pasta, meat, potatoes, rice, just about anything. Really—it’s SO good.
Lois and I use Pesto Besto as a wonderful basil coating for all sorts of pasta. My sister-in-law, Judy, taught me how to make this simple, yet delicious, sauce. You can make it in 20 minutes, including picking the basil leaves. Try it on Pesto Pasta Shrimp.
Don’t Let Fresh Basil Freeze
And now’s the time to save whatever basil you have growing. It won’t survive frost. This summer when we were leaving for a trip, Lois cut the basil back to the stems. We thought it wouldn’t survive our 3-week trip and decided to take the wonderful leaves with us to Catoctin Quaker Camp, where we were cooking for the staff for a week.
What a great idea! When we came home, we found the basil had regrown and was full of more beautiful leaves. Did you know you could do this? We didn’t. We did it another time later in the summer, so we got three crops of basil out of one planting! We used it fresh, dried it, and now we are again making Pesto Besto. Please let us know how you use your fresh basil.
Freeze it After You Make Pesto
When the fresh basil is abundant in the garden, I make several batches and freeze to eat all year long. I put it into plastic zipper sandwich bags and freeze it. Or, freeze it in ice cube trays and then save the cubes in a freezer bag to pull out a cube or two when you need some Pesto Besto.
When your basil almost done for the season, be sure to pick off all the leaves and make pesto. You can use them if they are a little wilted and beginning to brown. It won’t matter. They still have plenty of flavor and by mixing them with the greener leaves, the Pesto Besto will still be bright green and scrumptious. So don’t waste them!
You can also save basil by drying it if the leaves have started to brown. Just pick them out and lay them in a single layer until air dried.
This recipe can be easily halved or doubled. The basic recipe is enough for more than a pound of pasta, serving 10-12. A double recipe fits in our four-cup food processor.
What you Need
The only special tool you need is a food processor or blender, but you will also need measuring cups, a knife and a hard cheese grater.
Pesto Besto Recipe
Easy basil walnut pesto recipe
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed firm
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- In a food processor grind the basil, garlic and walnuts.
- Slowly add the olive oil until the pesto is smooth but not runny.
- Add the cheese and whirl until combined.
- To serve, toss cooked pasta with the Pesto Besto until it's coated to your liking. We use about 1 tablespoon of Pesto Besto per person.
NOTE: Pesto Besto can be used to flavor meats, chicken, fish, shrimp, vegetables or pasta. It's a delicious addition to many meals.
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Recipe Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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