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Basil Pesto


  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place pine nuts in toaster oven on pan and toast until golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to blacken. Alternatively, toast nuts in a heavy skillet, shaking frequently, until golden brown and fragrant.
  2. Place basil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade. Process until smooth. With motor running, add California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream. During processing, if necessary, stop food processer and use spatula to scrape down sides. Transfer pesto mixture to bowl. Add cheese.
  3. If making pasta, reserve ½ cup of cooked pasta water. Add ¼ cup of hot pasta water to pesto and Parmesan cheese mixture to melt cheese. Add additional water to adjust pesto to desired consistency.
  4. Toss pasta with pesto. Freshly grate additional Parmesan cheese atop individual pasta servings, if desired.

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