From Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 148.
A classic pesto recipe, using basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Pesto is one of our favourites with pasta- and there are endless variations. Here, parmesan is used. I find it difficult to find vegetarian parmesan so I tend to buy organic extra-mature gouda cheese instead.
The pine nuts that are used in this recipe are very expensive. Try substituting them for sunflower seeds. They taste very similar and are a lot cheaper to buy. Most other nuts, such as cashews or blanched almonds also make a great pesto.
Variations include adding some sun-dried tomatoes, or using roasted peppers, or add spinach leaves. A spash of lemon juice really helps the flavours develop better.
Vegan: omit the cheese and add more sunflower seeds or pine nuts. If you want the “cheesy “taste, try adding a teaspoon of nutritional yeast (or more to taste).