My tried and true recipe since 1977, New York City, “Starving Actress” Days—

I buy bunches of basil in the summer at the farmers market or if you’re inclined to grow your own herbs, this will be the most inspired! It’s less expensivethat way. The pesto will keep in the freezer for several months or in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. You can freeze in ice cube trays, pop out and put in freezer containers. Then, just pull out the desired number of cubes to make dinner. I also add a cube to pasta salad for extra flavor.


  • 3 Cups sweet basil leaves, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 Cup J. Olive Co. EVOO
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Put oil and garlic in bowl of food processor or blender (I prefer the processor as it does a better job of grinding this large amount of basil).
  2. Process until garlic is pulverized.
  3. Add all the basil leaves, salt, pepper and 1/2 the nuts. Chop until it is a puree.
  4. Transfer to a bowl. Add cheese and remainder of nuts. Stir with a spoon until blended.

One Batch makes about 10 frozen pesto cubes.

Favorite use for pesto:

Cook favorite pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve a little of the pasta water (about 1/3 Cup) in case the mixture seems dry. Drain pasta; add the desired amount of pesto. Top with a little cheese and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of Susan Hickman

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