Pesto Sauce
Pesto with pasta is now probably as familiar and popular as tomato sauce on pizza. Easy to make and very versatile, pesto sauce is an uncooked savory concoction made of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese. The original recipe for pesto sauce comes from Northern Italy where the basil is a delicately perfumed variety unavailable in the U.S. This pesto recipe uses flat-leaf Italian parsley in combination with the basil to duplicate the flavor of a true Mediterranean pesto sauce.
Servings Prep Time
1 1/2cups 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
1 1/2cups 20minutes
Cook Time
  1. Traditional pesto sauce recipes specify pine nuts, but you can also use almonds or walnuts. There are many ways to use pesto sauce besides serving it on pasta. Add it to soups for extra flavor or spread it on pizza dough and top with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and Mozzarella cheese. Try tossing pesto sauce with cubed chicken or with some cutup cooked potatoes. Pesto sauce freezes well, so when late summer brings a bumper crop of basil, make plenty of pesto sauce for the freezer to use all winter. Wash and dry the herbs. Peel the garlic. Place everything but the olive oil in the food processor bowl with the steel knife in place. Process with on/off pulses until all the ingredients are finely minced. You will have to stop several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Slowly add the oil through the tube, continuing to process as you do so. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally.
  3. Process until pesto becomes thick and smooth. Freeze or refrigerate in air tight plastic containers.
  4. Whenever you use pesto, be sure to dilute it with a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water for best results.
Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
Pesto Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Potassium 125mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 37%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.