Preheat the oven to 180'C.
Pick the leaves from the basil and discard the stalks.
Finely chop the garlic.
Grate the parmesan.
Toast the pine nuts in the oven on a baking sheet for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
In a pestle and mortar, mash the basil leaves with the garlic and a dash of olive oil. As the leaves break down into a paste add more oil and keep mixing until it is all incorporated.
Add the pine nuts and continue grinding until they have broken down into smaller pieces.
Add the parmesan cheese and then taste. Add the pepper and any salt if required.
«If you do not have a pestle and mortar use a small food processor. Do not blitz the parmesan, grate and add at the end. Do not season the pesto with salt before you have added the parmesan.»
A quick, simple and flavoursome basil pesto sauce perfect with fresh pasta or to finish an Italian dish.