Nothing tastes like homemade pesto on your pasta. Certainly not the supermarket jars! Lower in salt and fresh tasting, dollop generously on pasta or spread onto baked fish or chicken.

This recipe makes a bit batch so try freezing it in ice cube trays to use whenever you need it.


  • 125g/4½oz pine nuts
  • 125g/4½oz Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed with the flat side of a knife
  • 200ml/7fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • squeeze lemon juice


  1. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast them for a few minutes until browned and fragrant.

  2. Place the parmesan chunks in a food processor and add the basil leaves, garlic, toasted pine nuts and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Blend for a few seconds until it begins to come together and is smooth.

  4. Taste the pesto for seasoning, and add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.

  5. If not using straight away, you can store the pesto in a jar and will keep for a week in the fridge. Or you can put it into ice-cube trays and freeze.

Recipe Tips

For a change, try using pecorino cheese instead of Parmesan, it has a lovely salty flavour which works well in the pesto. Or reserve 25g/1oz of the toasted pine nuts and stir them through at the end to give the pesto more texture. There are various types of pesto, including walnut, rocket, spinach and many more.