Classic Summer Basil Pesto

The tiny, sweet basil plants I put in the ground in early May have gone crazy with all the rain we’ve had this summer in Richmond! The basil in this basket is only one of my three plants!

Sweet basil from my garden

I visited my little sister Angela’s house last week and she made us a grilled cheese panini with sliced tomatoes and basil…that she had purchased from the store. The sandwich was amazing (I need a panini maker) but I did remind her that I have tons of basil growing and next time to have me bring some over 🙂

homemade pesto

I had enough basil to make 3 batches of this recipe. I washed the basil on the stems and then I placed the picked leaves in a colander as I was working. Some recipes call for the leaves to be dried first but I didn’t find this step necessary. 

I was able to freeze 11 one half cup containers of pesto for later use!

Classic Basil Pesto

  • 2 1/2 cups basil, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
  • 1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  • In a high powered blender place basil, garlic and pine nuts. Stream in EVOO while blender is on low setting. I had to turn off the blender and scrape down the sides a couple of times to help it along. Once blended add in cheese, salt and pepper and blend until just combined. 

Pasta, Pesto and Peas

It’s Labor Day weekend! School starts, pools close (at least in Richmond they do), and the days get shorter (BOO!!). I do love fall and all the holidays leading up to Christmas. This fall my sister Angela is expecting her 2nd child..another boy…so that’s also something to be very excited about!

While I was cooking Devin came in the kitchen to make a sandwich. Our dog Walter waited close by with the hopes that Devin might share:


I made this pasta to take to my cousins housewarming party last weekend. It’s unique and always a hit…a couple of people asked me for the recipe and a few others made a point to tell me how much they liked it. It’s usually a great way to use some of the tons a fresh basil I have however, my blender is broken and I couldn’t make any fresh pesto so I had to buy some. I need to remedy my broken blender situation soon because I have lots of basil that needs to be broken down into pesto and frozen 🙂

Pasta, Pesto and Peas

From Barefoot Contessa

  • 3/4 pound fusilli pasta
  • 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pesto (I didn’t measure it but used the entire package that you see pictured above)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (don’t leave this out!!)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Cook the pasta together in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss pasta with a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let cool to room temperature.
  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice. Add the Vegenaise and puree to mix. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well, taste to be sure the seasoning is right and serve at room temperature.