Last Friday Nana came to visit, which is always a treat because Nana loves to cook.  And cook we did.

We started by making this fresh basil pesto, and I’m serious when I tell you that this simple recipe is redonkulously yummy.  You could schmear this stuff on cardboard and it would taste like a delicacy.

Plus this version is nut-free, making it friendly for folks with allergies.

Start by peeling and roughly chopping two cloves of garlic.  Nana handled this step.  As a trained chef, Nana has some legit knife skills.

rough chop garlicNow throw the garlic into a food processor.

garlic in food processorNext, pick two cups of fresh basil leaves.  Inhale deeply.


Or buy your basil from the grocery store!  Either way, your result will be delish.

Rinse your basil and throw it into the food processor.  My five-year-old was eager to assist.  Those are his willing little hands.

E and basil

Next, measure one-half of a cup of parmesan cheese.  We used the good stuff for this recipe – freshly shredded imported Italian parmigiano.


The regular old grated stuff in the shakey container just doesn’t do the fresh basil justice.

Throw the cheese into the food processor and add salt and pepper to taste.  Don’t go crazy with the salt because the cheese is already salty.

pesto ingredients

Now put on the lid and give your ingredients some pulses.

E and pesto

Our little assistant delighted in the aroma of this step.

You want to blend it pretty well and get rid of all of the chunks.

Next measure one-third of a cup of olive oil.  We used extra virgin.

evoo in measuring cupWith the lid still on the food processor, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, continuing to process your ingredients as you drizzle.

drizzle evooWe added all of the olive oil to our pesto because we used this batch on pasta.

For a thicker pesto, add less oil.  Drizzle a little and check the consistency.  Then drizzle more if necessary.  It isn’t an exact science and the result will be delicioso no matter the consistency.

bowl of pesto

If you could smell pictures this one would smell amazing.

This recipe yields the perfect amount of pesto to pour over a pound of pasta for a yummy side dish.  I prefer to use penne or bow tie pasta – you want a pasta with crevices so that it will hold onto the pesto.  You can also incorporate a veggie by adding sweet peas or cherry tomatoes.

Now go make some with your kids!  And thanks to Nana for sharing her love of cooking with us!


2 cloves garlic

2 cups sweet basil

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil