Pesto Recipe | How to make Basic Pesto Sauce

>>  Monday, September 14, 2015

We are starting the BM#56, Buffet on Table, Week 3 today, which will feature condiments across countries. When you want to know what a condiment is, I simply referred all to wiki. A condiment is anything that's added to food to impart a particular flavour or to even enhance its flavour. It can be a spice, a sauce or even a prepared food. In some cultures, it can even be served to complement a dish. Though this term originally described pickled or preserved foods, its now widely used. Even salt and sugar are condiments. 

After the heavy duty Indian States, I had no energy to prepare elaborate condiments and resorted to simple ones. Rather some of these were made few months back, having in mind that I will end up cooking a lot for the Indian states.

Anyway coming back to the theme, going by the definition of the term condiment, I have tried to prepare it in the different forms it can mean. Today's condiment is a fresh sauce from Italy.

Pesto, a sauce from Italy, was originally was prepared with Basil, garlic, pine nuts and blended with olive oil, Parmesan cheese. Traditionally the pesto is ground in a mortar with a pestle. Even though I have a mortar and pestle, I used by mixer for quick sauce. It can be preserved or refrigerated up to week, and can be frozen over a month.

Just with any green leaves, after grinding, the leaves tend to get oxidized. To avoid that you can blanch the basil leaves, drain and then make the sauce. 

As with all recipes, this can be easily be substituted with ingredients that are not locally available. We do not get pine nuts, so I replaced with almonds. You also have variations in replacing Basil itself. Use Parsley, to make Parsley Pesto. I made Fusilli Pasta with Parsley Pesto and Roasted Broccoli

Basic Pesto Sauce

Ingredients Needed

Basil leaves - 1 bunch
Almonds, roasted - 10 
Garlic - 4 -5 cloves
Salt to taste
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Water for blending
Pepper for seasoning
Parmesan cheese - 1 tsp

How to make the Pesto

Blanch the Basil leaves and keep it aside.

MW almonds for a minute, then chop it finely, and grind to a fine powder. Add crushed garlic and pulse it. Add olive oil and pulse again.

Add salt and pepper as required, add Basil leaves and grind to an almost smooth paste. Add Parmesan cheese at the end.

Use in any pasta dish as desired.


Refrigerate for 2 days or freeze in cubes for couple of months.

I used this pesto to make Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56


Sapana Behl September 14, 2015 at 12:17 AM  

I have only tried basil with pine nuts and walnuts but never with almonds.This pesto looks so fresh and delicious.Very nice start up.

Usha Rao September 14, 2015 at 3:48 AM  

Pesto also tastes great with stuffed chilies. One of my cousins uses store bought pesto to make stuffed mirchi curry.

Nivedhanams Sowmya September 14, 2015 at 8:02 AM  

Delicious pesto... Very flavourful..

vaishali sabnani September 14, 2015 at 1:31 PM  

Even i have tried a couple of versions of pestos but the one with pinenuts and basil is the most amazing . The almond pesto looks fresh and tempting .

Harini-Jaya R September 17, 2015 at 12:07 AM  

My kids like the pesto a lot but never got around making it..should try soon.

sneha datar September 17, 2015 at 6:24 PM  

My daughter too loves pesto .. yummy.

Padma Rekha September 19, 2015 at 1:43 PM  

Same pinch Valli I too made pesto for the first day. With almonds recipe sounds yumm...

Sandhiya September 19, 2015 at 6:40 PM  

Yummy..Like pesto a lot .Yet to try on my own..

The Pumpkin Farm September 20, 2015 at 1:38 PM  

even i make with almonds whenevr i run out of pinenuts, i love this sauce any time...

Priya Suresh September 20, 2015 at 11:06 PM  

Whenever i ran out of pinenuts i'll go immediately for almonds, fabulous pesto.

Preeti Garg September 21, 2015 at 2:56 PM  

Nice recipe... love the pesto sandwiches

Srividhya September 22, 2015 at 8:44 AM  

Adding almonds instead of pine nuts is great.

Priya Srinivasan September 23, 2015 at 10:53 AM  

Lovely dip and a famous one too!!! Though we get pine nuts here, it costs a bomb, so i always use only walnuts. Love that vibrant green it gets after blending!!! We love our pesto on toasts, yumm!!!

Pavani N September 28, 2015 at 7:14 AM  

That is a classic condiment to start the week with. I have never made pesto with almonds, will have to try your version some time.

Suma Gandlur September 29, 2015 at 6:46 AM  

That is one loaded with flavor.

Archana Potdar September 30, 2015 at 4:46 PM  

Mmmmm Valli the color is so tempting. Its time for me to go home n wish I can eat this with some bread

Manjula Bharath October 7, 2015 at 12:55 PM  

Such an aromatic and delicious pesto with basil , I make them with pistachios some time it gives more green colour to the pesto , almonds is an lovely idea too !!

Padmajha PJ October 28, 2015 at 11:32 AM  

What a beautiful color! I have been putting his off because of the pine nuts. Maybe I should start off with almonds instead!

Chef Mireille October 29, 2015 at 6:53 AM  

one of my fave all time condiments - love it tossed with pasta

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