Meatless Friday Meal: Almond basil pesto on pasta

If you have ever thought of planting a few herbs to use in your kitchen, make sure basil is one of them.  It is one of the easiest to grow (remember to pinch off those pretty flowers as soon as you see them) and will give you so much for so little work.  My basil plants are too small right now to harvest but luckily I saved a few bags of basil from last year in the freezer, yeah you can do that.  I don’t do anything special to it, just wash it and leave it out on the counter to dry and them throw in a container and pop in the freezer.  The color of your pesto will be slightly darker and more brown than if you used fresh basil but it will be just as good.

This recipe took many years of playing around with to get it just right so I am very happy to share it with you.  I began experimenting with different nuts to replace pine nuts because I have alot of mouths to feed and, hello!  have you seen the price of pine nuts?   For me, almonds makes the perfect pesto and since its my favorite nut to use I always have it around.  The other secret is good parmesan cheese.  By that I mean not the stuff that is already grated in a bottle.  Buy yourself the best little block of parmesan that you feel good about spending your money on.  I usually spend about $7 at Whole Foods and that will last me quite a few meals because when you grate it you end up with alot.  I just keep the unused portion in a jar in the fridge.

Almond Basil pesto on pasta

1 cup sliced almonds, (or whatever almonds you have on hand) lightly toasted
2 cups packed fresh or frozen basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste, I add about 1 tsp
Using a food processor, grind the almonds finely
Add the basil, garlic, and cheese.  puree (it may not puree evenly yet but it will once we add the oil)
Slowly add the oil while pureeing until smooth.  Add the salt and when you are happy you are done.
Toss with hot pasta and you are eating in less than 20 minutes.  Enjoy the taste of spring my friends.

Get your meatless recipes ready for next weeks link up, I can’t wait to see what you are making for your loved ones and boy could I use some new ideas.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or follow me by email at the top right hand of the screen to have future posts sent to you. Tricia (Crunchy Catholic Momma)

3 Responses to Meatless Friday Meal: Almond basil pesto on pasta

  1. Rebecca September 11, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Love this! How do you store it and how long does it last?

    • farmishmomma September 14, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Rebecca, I put it up in mason jars and freeze it 🙂 It will be not as green as when fresh but it will taste just as good.

  2. Betsy July 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Yum! Thanks for the great idea. I also plan to freeze more basal now.

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