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Best Pesto

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 3 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 6 cups basil leaves (about 3 bunches)
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

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Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once halfway through, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool. Add cheese and garlic and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add basil and place the top back on. With the motor running, add oil in a slow and steady stream until pesto is mostly smooth, with just a few flecks of green, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
  • Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Top with ½” oil to prevent browning. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface, and chill.
  • Cooks’ Note: If you want to use this with pasta, cook 12 oz. dried pasta (we prefer long pasta for pesto) in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
  • Place pesto and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, in a large bowl. Add pasta and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid. Using tongs, toss vigorously, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Season with salt.
  • Divide pasta among bowls. Top with finely grated Parmesan.

Recipe by Andy Baraghani


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