CLASSIC BASIL PESTO

SERVES 8; MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS
TOTAL TIME
20 minutes
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ cup pine nuts
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon table salt
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated fine (½ cup)
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Pesto is one of the most versatile sauces you can make and dresses up just about anything. It can be prepared with a variety of ingredients—traditionally basil, but also other herbs and greens like parsley and arugula, and even potent ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes or olives. Regardless of the base ingredients, we found there are a few basic requirements to creating a great pesto: Use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (its flavor really shines through), toast the garlic in the microwave (helps to tame its fiery flavor), and add some type of nuts or seeds (to give the pesto richness and body). When you’re tossing the pesto with cooked pasta, it is important to add some pasta cooking water to achieve the proper sauce consistency. This recipe makes enough to sauce 2 pounds of pasta.
1. Microwave 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and pine nuts in bowl until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring halfway through microwaving. Let mixture cool completely, about 10 minutes. Transfer garlic mixture to Ace blender along with remaining 11 tablespoons oil, basil, parsley, lemon juice, and salt. Lock lid in place,then process on medium speed until pesto is smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
2. Remove lid, stir in Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To prevent browning, press plastic wrap flush to surface or top with thin layer of olive oil. Bring to room temperature before using.)

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