Big, beautiful basil plants are popping up at grocers, markets & maybe even in your own herb gardens. Basil is my favourite herb of all, and it’s the star of Summer right now as it hits peak season. We do use it year-round in our family recipes – sauces, pizza, etc. – but right now you can get a whole whack more of it for your money. We picked up two fresh plants at Willowtree Farm that still had roots, placed them in a tall vase with some water & have been using the fresh basil on everything this week – the fragrance in our Cucina is amazing. We made a Homemade Pesto without the Nuts and slathered it on spaghetti & Caprese salad for a meal that tasted yum-aze and better than take out! Fresh is best when it comes to pesto – no lingering aftertaste from some of the preservatives the store-bought kind can leave, and our nut-aware families will love that they can enjoy this classic Italian sauce without pine nuts and not miss out on flavour.
Note on Ingredients & How to Store Your Pesto
*We used a blend of Pecorino Romano & Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses because of the supply we had on hand, but this recipe could be made with either/or – some even swapping in Asiago cheese if that’s what you have. We buy the cheese in hard brick form & grate fresh, but pre-grated is just fine too! Also, we used more olive oil than you may need in this recipe to achieve a nice consistency for the pasta. You can use less if you want a thicker sauce. The recipe below rendered about a cup and a half which was enough for a large portion of spaghetti, dollops on Caprese salad (about 6 pods), and to spread on crostini. You can half the recipe for a smaller portion, or if you have leftovers either store in the fridge up to 4 days, or freeze flat in a Ziploc bag you can thaw for use at a later time*
Nut Free Homemade Pesto Recipe | La Cucina di Kerrs
- Food Processor or Blender
- 4 cups Fresh Basil leaves packed very loosely
- 2-4 cloves fresh garlic cut in half, adjust to garlicky preference (*we use 4*)
- 1 cup Pecorino Romano & Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese freshly grated
- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil *use less for a thicker pesto consistency*)
- Coarse salt & Ground Black Pepper *to taste, but use sparingly as cheese is salty enough*
- In a blender or food processor, add the basil, garlic & cheese, then use pulse setting until ingredients look roughly chopped (*about 3-5 times*)
- Add the olive oil in small portions at a time, and scrap down ingredients that may get stuck on the mixer's sides to ensure it all blends nicely. You can use less/more oil as needed to achieve desired pesto consistency.
- Pour pesto into a small bowl & add a few pinches of salt + pepper (*sparingly as cheese is well-salted already*). Add the pesto to pastas, salads, crostini, soups, eggs, or use as base sauce for pizzas. Buon appetito! Tag us at @House_of_Kerrs on Instagram if you try!
Delicious Ways to Use Your Nut-Free Pesto Besides Pasta:
Besides pasta, here are some other fantastic ways to use your nut-free homemade pesto:
- Hot & Cold Appetizers
- Compound Pesto Butter
- Eggs, Omelettes, Frittata
- Summer Pasta Salads
- Base sauce for pizzas
- Caprese Salad
- Blend with Ricotta Cheese
Keep well, eat well,