The Best Pesto: The Italian Pantry

I've posted this pesto recipe before. It's Gran Fran's famous pesto and it cannot be beat.

Click on over to her site, The Italian Pantry to read her memoir relating to this lovely pesto.

Classic Pesto

original recipe courtesy of Fran Claro of The Italian Pantry


  • 3 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, roughly grated (I omit the cheese when I make this and it's fine)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2   teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Dried red pepper flakes to taste


  1. In blender or food processor, pulse all ingredients, until sauce is thick and creamy.
  2. Add more oil if necessary.
  3. If you are storing this for later use, put a few tablespoons of olive oil in the jar after you’ve filled it with the pesto to keep it fresh and green.

Yields approximately 2 cups Prep time, 15minutes; cook time 0

Cook’s Notes: Serve on top of pasta, as a pizza sauce or as a spread on your favorite sandwich. Great with mozzarella and tomato in a salad.