20 servings (serving size: 2 tablespoons)

Pesto is a sure sign of summer in Italy's Liguria region, where sweet basil grows in fragrant fields. Farther south, in Sicily, the locals add crushed red pepper and chopped tomatoes to their pesto. It's nice served with crusty bread or tossed with hot pasta and shrimp or poultry.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.

Step 2

Combine nuts and garlic in a food processor; process until minced. Add basil, oil, salt, and peppers; process until blended, scraping sides occasionally. Add cheese; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl; fold in tomato.

Ratings & Reviews

Great pesto - don't over-do the garlic!

August 28, 2017
I love this pesto. It's my go-to recipe. Every time I make it, though, I think "why not one more clove of garlic? I love garlic." I always over-do it. Which is fine - we love garlic - but next time, I'll try to resist. I'm allergic to parmesan and other hard-aged white cheeses, so I use shredded Monterey jack cheese.

tara31's Review

June 28, 2009
Made exactly as directed except added a bit more crushed red pepper for more heat - awesome! Toasting the pine nuts is a must for the smoky flavor.

JJ1916ohio's Review

March 19, 2012
I love the way this pesto tastes, especially with the bit of spice. I do skip the tomatoes though. The main downside is that it's way too hard to only use 2 Tbsp per serving!

mmidorijoy's Review

October 09, 2013
The best pesto I've ever had!!!

karaboo's Review

October 18, 2009
This pesto is fabulous. I made it exactly as the recipe suggests. I used it in the "mushroom pesto Pasta" recipe also found on this site. delicious!

merrymer's Review

August 26, 2009
Wow! This pesto is awesome. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of leaving the tomatos out. It has GREAT flavor! So far I have used it in pasta, as a spread on a chicken sandwich, and as a sauce on the summer squash pizza. Using fresh garlic and toasting the pine nuts is a must to get the most flavor.

Use only best quality ingredients

September 30, 2015
Agree with the other reviews.  The best pesto ever.  Used double the crushed red pepper for zip and a combination of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Asiago. The addition of the vine ripe tomatoes put this over the top. Next time will make my own linguine as this sauce was that good.