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The best basil pesto

The best basil pesto

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The best basil pesto

The Italian classic with basil, Parmesan & pine nuts

The Italian classic with basil, Parmesan & pine nuts

Serves 6

Cooks In5 minutes

DifficultySuper easy

Nutrition per serving
  • Calories 147 7%

  • Fat 14.2g 20%

  • Saturates 2.9g 15%

  • Sugars 0.4g 0%

  • Salt 0.5g 8%

  • Protein 4.4g 9%

  • Carbs 1.6g 1%

  • Fibre 0.3g -

Of an adult's reference intake


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil , (40g)
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g Parmesan
  • optional:
  • 1 cooked Jersey Royal or new potato

Recipe From


By Jamie Oliver


  1. Peel and bash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Pick the basil leaves and add with the pine nuts, and pound to a coarse paste.
  3. Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil and finely grate and stir in the Parmesan, adding a splash of water if you like it a little runnier, then continue bashing and pounding until smooth.
  4. Have a taste and season with salt and black pepper, if needed. For a lovely creamy finish, try crumbling in and stirring through a cooked Jersey Royal. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or simply stirred through pasta – delicious!


If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, you can use a blender or food processor instead.

– Use half basil and half rocket, replace the pine nuts with walnuts, and use pecorino instead of Parmesan to keep things veggie.
– Swap out pine nuts for almonds and basil for rocket.
– Use hazelnuts in place of pine nuts and replace basil with flat-leaf parsley.
– Go for an Asian vibe and use cashews, coriander and a squeeze of lime.

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