The net service was out today and I was so restless I contemplated making fresh pasta. Opted to make pesto sauce instead. My basil plants have grown so old that all I could salvage from them was about 1 1/2 cups of leaves. I used to whizz everything in a blender to make a few bottles to store in the fridge but they don't really keep well so now I make a fresh batch whenever I need it. For small amounts I usually use the pestle and mortar, which smashes and releases the flavor of all the ingredients rather than cut them up like the blender does.
You can make your pesto according to your liking, adding more pine nuts or basil or EVOO. I don't bother to measure anymore and I think that's how pesto should be: adjust the ingredients until you get the sauce you want.
2 cups (packed) fresh sweet basil leaves
2 T pine nuts, toasted lightly
2 to 3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t salt + 1/16 t freshly grounded black pepper (to taste)
1.If using blender, whizz everything together. Adjust taste with salt, pepper, oil and cheese.
2. If using mortar, just pound the garlic, nuts and leaves and add the salt, pepper, oil and parmesan to taste.
Use sauce with pasta (boil pasta in salted water, drain & toss with pesto sauce & top with grated pecorino cheese). Or use for bruschetta.
Note: Do not cook the sauce. Somebody did that (you know who you are! :))