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5 sauces everyone should know how to make

By: Enrique Gili on Aug. 1, 2013, 10 a.m.
Basil Walnut Pesto

Photo: Christian Jung/Shutterstock

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Basil Walnut Pesto

Nutty and vibrant, a good pesto sauce can be added to pasta, complement cooked vegetables, or even be spread on toasted bread and eaten by the spoonful.
Basil Walnut Pesto

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 15 minutes  

Yield: 12 ounces


  • 2 bunches basil, stemmed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, halves and pieces
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • Squeeze fresh lemon (optional)
Cooking directions
  1. Rinse basil in colander and shake to remove excess water. Place on cutting board. Remove leaves from stem for about 4 cups packed tightly in a quart-sized container.
  2. Chop walnuts in food processor about 30 seconds. Add garlic and chop.
  3. Add cheese and chop. Add 2 cups basil. Slowly add olive oil until a thick paste forms. Use a rubber spatula to scape down sides. Add remaining leaves with olive oil until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pack pesto into small jars with tight fitting lids. Stir lightly to remove air pockets and top with a thin layer of olive oil. Refrigerate for up to one week.