We make pesto at least once a week as all the littles eat it with gusto. As the note on the bottom says, any leafy green will do from kale to chard to arugula. Experiment with nuts and seeds. A great combo is kale with pumpkin seeds which is made often as the kids go to a nut free school and we always send them to school with leftovers!
Basil Pesto Pasta
3 cloves garlic
1-cup pine nuts
4 ounces Parmesan reggiano cheese
4 ounces basil leaves removed from stems
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Process all but olive oil in blender until a paste forms, stream in olive oil until blended. Pesto should be smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste
Toss with your favorite pasta and one ladle of pasta water.
Variations- Basil can be replaced by any leafy green vegetable like kale, Swiss chard or spinach. If using kale or chard, blanch leaves in boiling water for a minute first, then plunge into cold water. Squeeze excess water from leaves before adding. Nuts can also be replaced. Kale works well with almonds. If you need to make a nut-free variation, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) a good replacement.