Presto, Pesto!

Presto, pesto!  If you drank too many margaritas last night and are looking for a quick and reasonably healthy dinner to get your week back on track, this is the recipe for you.  It's great in any circumstance though, and is one of my go-to weekday dinners.  Pesto is great on pasta but you can also serve it on chicken, spread it on a sandwich, or use it to dress up some veggies.

There are no specific rules to pesto.  Make it based on what you have on hand and how you like it.  I like a thicker pesto, so I go heavy on the pine nuts and the parm and light on the oil.  If you like a thinner pesto, load up on the basil and thin out the pesto as you go by adding additional oil until you achieve the consistency you're after.  There are no measurements, either.  So if you're uncomfortable in the kitchen this is a great thing to experiment with because you really can't mess it up.

Add to a food processor: Roughly 2 handfuls of pinenuts (toasted, if you have time and are feeling fancy), 2 cloves of peeled garlic, heaping spoonfuls of finely grated parmesan cheese (or fresh parm from the block, your food processor will handle the rest), leaves from 1 bunch of basil, roughly chopped, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 tsp salt, a dash of white pepper (or black!) & high quality olive oil.  Blend until smooth.  Add additional ingredients to taste. 

Add pesto sauce to cooked pasta and toss with heirloom tomatoes.  Enjoy!