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Fresh Sweet Basil Pesto Recipe

This Sweet Basil Pesto Recipe is absolutely delicious and so versatile. As an appetizer, an amazing pasta dish or drizzle it over fish, pork, or chicken.
Top-down view of pesto sitting in a white bowl. Slices of a baguette, garlic, pinenuts, and sweet basil sit to the side.

You can find pesto made with all kinds of ingredients nowadays. Carrot tops, arugula, and cilantro to name just a few, but, Sweet Basil Pesto remains my favorite!

I have had a heck of a time getting back into a routine. It took a while to get my “have-to list” done so I could get to my “want-to list”.

We just celebrated John’s birthday. I still think that a birthday is a reason to celebrate. Everyone should feel special on their birthday regardless of how old they are.

Two views of Top-down view of pesto sitting in a white bowl. Slices of a baguette, garlic, pinenuts, and sweet basil sit to the side.

We invited friends over that like us, love food with fresh ingredients. I was able to grab some amazing tomatoes and jalapenos from my garden and made a big batch of pico de gallo.

I also have a couple of beautiful sweet basil plants that I couldn’t wait to whip up a batch of this Sweet Basil Pesto. 

My recipe comes from my “go-to” girl, Ina Garten. I’ve never met Ina, and if I did, I would probably embarrass myself by either going mute or talking non-stop incoherently.

Don’t have time to make it now? Pin it for later!

The most important thing in making good pesto is to use good quality parmesan. I freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano in a food processor. Putting parmesan in the food processor gives it a great texture.

It has a larger grain, that you can really taste. I tripled my batch so I could put some in the freezer. It freezes so well. Once thawed, it looks and tastes as good as the day you made it.

Top-down view of pesto sitting in a white bowl. Slices of a baguette, garlic, pinenuts, and sweet basil sit to the side.
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5 from 1 vote

Fresh Sweet Basil Pesto Recipe

This Sweet Basil Pesto Recipe is absolutely delicious and so versatile. As an appetizer, an amazing pasta dish or drizzle it over fish, pork, or chicken.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 8 Servings
Author Julie Menghini

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 3 tbs grated garlic 9 cloves
  • 5 cups sweet basil leaves packed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 cup Parmesan Reggiano I prefer freshly grated

Instructions

  • Place the walnuts, pignoli, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. 
  • Serve, or store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Notes

This recipe was created by Ina Garden FoodNetwork.com
If making more than one batch, I make them individually.  
I use a 1 cup round storage containers that are suitable for the freezer. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 876mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 1000IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 1.1mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!

Pesto is so versatile. You can use it as I did, as an appetizer, or make an amazing pasta dish or pour it over fish, pork, or chicken. What is your favorite way to serve it?

Here are a few more of my favorite appetizer recipes

 Homemade Lemon Ricotta with Honey

Homemade Lemon Ricotta With Honey makes a deliciously decadent appetizer that is both quick and very easy to make. Once you make it you will never buy it again. | HostessAtHeart.com

Spicy Nacho Cheese Pretzels

Top-down view of a wooden bowl filled with spicy pretzels on a wooden background. Pretzels are scattered around the bowl.

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Two top-down views of pesto sitting in a white bowl. Slices of a baguette, garlic, pinenuts, and sweet basil sit to the side.
Recipe Rating




Mike

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Love this pesto because of the extra cheese. When you buy this out, it can be too green and not enough cheese.

HostessAtHeart

Wednesday 17th of September 2014

I am sure that was delicious! home grown and ripened is the best!

flavourphotos

Wednesday 17th of September 2014

I've got a really lovely big basil plant in my greenhouse at the moment. Pesto is just the best… Tonight we had some warm tortilla wraps, spread with humous and pesto and then topped with a big ladle full of homemade veggie chilli. Delicious!

Kelli

Tuesday 16th of September 2014

This looks and sounds delicious and the photos you took are just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing!

HostessAtHeart

Tuesday 16th of September 2014

You are very welcome. Thank you for your visiting my site. I appreciate it!

petra08

Sunday 14th of September 2014

I always enjoy watching the Barefoot Contessa as well! I did meet a great English chef whom I really admire and I couldn't think of a single thing to say, the moment passed and I kicked myself many times after that! I have never made pesto with walnuts and it sounds delicious!

HostessAtHeart

Sunday 14th of September 2014

That is so funny Petra. I think we have so much in common, and then if I was ever given the opportunity, I would be dumb founded!