TCC's Hacked Pesto

Submitted by The Cynical Cook

Farmer's markets make me think of basil, stacks of the stuff filling the summer air with its enchanting scent. Basil makes me think of pesto, surpassingly the greatest use for basil known to mankind.

And if you have a blender or food processor, this is stupidly easy.

I'd probably avoid making this in the fall or winter, as store bought basil is ridiculously expensive and never smells or tastes right. But for a three dollar bunch from a summer market, this is the ultimate use, a way to bring elegance to a simple dinner of pasta and tomato or a twist to steamed or seared fish.


  • Handful of pine nuts
  • Large bunch of Basil (maybe 40 leaves? you can also leave the softer parts of the stems)
  • Three handfuls of Parmaggiano Reggiano
  • 3 smashed cloves of garlic (no paper)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put all ingredients except salt, pepper and olive oil into blender or food processor. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on top.
  2. Pulse several times, making sure to scrape down the sides. As you pulse, make sure to drizzle in more olive oil. Continue to pulse until it resembles a grainy paste.
  3. Taste and then salt and pepper to your liking. I prefer it to be a bit salty to the taste primarily because I treat it like a sauce.

Cook's Notes

Add cold pesto to warm pasta and fresh chopped tomatoes. You will not be disappointed.


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