Even though it is officially fall, the weather has been so nice recently! Summer is my favorite season, by far, so a few more warm days are fine by me. Warm weather always makes me want to cook fresh food, so for dinner last night I made a fresh pesto sauce. If I had to choose my favorite sauce for a pasta, it would be a tie between a fresh bolognese sauce and a fresh basil pesto. My family likes to make pesto full of basil, and slightly thicker than the store-bought options which are made up of mostly oil. To me, pesto should have a ratio of more basil to oil, not the other way around. I love this recipe because there is so much basil in it, and instead of using milk to thicken the sauce, this recipe uses a bit of low-sodium chicken broth. I also love this recipe because you can make the raw pesto and use it as a dip with appetizers or as a spread on sandwiches, or you can take it a step further and cook it to use as a sauce with pasta. The raw pesto also freezes very well so when it's time to use it, all you have to do is defrost it and cook it according to the instructions below! Basil is a flavorful herb that contains antioxidants and has been rumored to help with inflammation, so pair that with some fatty acid rich extra virgin olive oil, and you have a delicious meal! Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
Begin by rinsing the basil leaves and patting them dry. Don't worry too much about drying them though, the extra water helps to make the sauce.
Combine the basil, pignoli nuts, garlic, and olive oil in to a blender and blend until combined and smooth.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
*Optional: if you really like a garlic flavor, you can also add some garlic powder to taste.*
If you wish to cook the sauce to use with pasta:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the pesto, chicken broth, and grated cheese to taste.
Stir and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or so, until the sauce has thickened, appears "creamy", and turns a bright green color.
Serve with some cooked pasta, extra grated cheese, and enjoy!
Inspiring others to lead healthier lifestyles, one recipe at a time.