A classic pesto recipe is invaluable for a quick weeknight pasta dinner or for adding flavor to eggssandwiches, or soups.

Game plan: For variety, use parsley or arugula in your pesto, instead of basil. The pesto can be tightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for several days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Click here to watch Emilia Terragni, editor of The Silver Spoon cookbook, make this easy basil pesto in her video for CHOW’s My Go-To Dish series.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 15 mins

Ingredients (8)

  • 25 fresh, medium basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Place the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic (if using), and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process for about 5 or 6 (1-second) pulses. Add the grated cheeses and process for another 5 or 6 (1-second) pulses. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream and process until the mixture’s smooth. Taste the pesto and season with salt and pepper.