I love pesto. When I visit my sister in Santa Cruz, I have to stop by Pizza My Heart at least once for their pesto pizza. Sigh. Green food. :) This is a very basic pesto, but you can easily switch out the green and the nut for a different effect. For example: Switching out the basil for arugula, and the pine nut for pecans, you can then have a pesto that's perfect for topping grilled chicken. Another option is to use walnuts or pepitas, and split the basil with half spinach. I like this with fajitas. The spinach also makes for a very bright and springy pesto.
2 well-packed cups of basil, and 1/3 c. of pine nuts which I always toast and cool first. Pulse a few times to chop, but don't go crazy here, 6-8 times max.
This is how it should look. Then add in 3 cloves garlic, minced, and pulse a few more times. Then, begin to slowly drizzle in 1/2 c. of olive oil while to motor is on, until the mixture looks like a wet paste.
Like this. :) Then scrape down the sides, and mix in 1/2 c. of grated Parmesan, then season to taste with SnP. Sometimes I add a little lemon if it needs to brighten up.
Toss with hot cooked pasta, I used Orecchiette, but use what ever you like best. I just like saying Orecchiette.Serve with more Parmesan, a salad, and if you'd like, some hot bread. I also love pasta pesto with grilled chicken slices, or even shrimp. Do what you will. :)