Basil is available all year long but is abundant and cheap in the summer. It grows like a weed at my house and big bunches are only one dollar at the farmers’ market. I make several batches and freeze them for the winter. I leave the cheese out of the batches for the freezer. I often use nuts other than pine nuts as they are so expensive. You can use any pasta but I like a short one with crevices for the pesto to hide in. Torcetti is the pasta in the picture. Green beans are an easy and traditional addition. Pesto pasta is a great main dish but can be served as a side as well.
2 coves garlic peeled
1 bunch basil
3 ounces parmesan chunks
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups torcetti pasta
1 1/2 cups green beans cut to same length as pasta
Parmesan for grating
1. Drop garlic into running food processor. Process until you no longer hear the bits on the blade. Wipe down bowl.
2. Add basil to the processor and pulse 8-10 times.
3. Add Parmesan and pecans to the bowl run until well ground.
4. With processor running add olive oil. It should be a thick paste. You may need to scrape bowl and add a few more drizzles.
5. Bring pot of salted water to the boil. Add pasta and beans. Low boil for 7-8 minutes till pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water then drain.
6. Toss pasta and 1/2 of pesto in a bowl. Add some of the pasta water to blend. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
The rest of the pesto can go in a small bowl covered with olive oil and will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.