This classic Italian sauce is so quick and easy to make - you'll wonder why you ever bought it! Plus, this recipe beats any store bought version hands down; stir it through pasta, drizzle over poached eggs and crispy bacon or spread it on fresh crusty bread - it's so versatile! One thing to keep in mind, with so few ingredients in this recipe it's important to use the best quality ingredients that you can get your hands on.
- Prep Time: 10m
- Cooking Time: 10m
- Passive Time: 0m
- Place the pine nuts in a dry, non-stick pan and gently roast them over a medium heat until the they turn a golden brown colour. Toss, or stir, the nuts frequently to ensure they toast evenly - especially towards the end of toasting.
- Once the nuts are well toasted (but not burnt) tip them on to a side plate and allow them to cool.
- Crush the black garlic on a board using the salt flakes and the back of a knife.
- Place the pine nuts, pepper, half the olive oil and crushed garlic into a food processor and blitz for 45 seconds to bring the ingredients together.
- Scrap down the side of the food processor with a spatular and add the parmesan, basil leaves and the remaining olive oil. Blitz for a further 45 seconds until a coarse sauce is formed.
- Add the mascarpone and bitz for a further 10 seconds or until combined.
- Stir the pesto through your favourite pasta, spread it on crusty fresh bread or drizzle over some smoked bacon and freshly poached eggs.
You can use soft basil stems in this recipe - as well as leaves - but be careful not to use any woody stems. If you don't have a food processor available, you can make this pesto by hand, using a pestle and mortar. You can also make this recipe using pecorino but as this is a saltier cheese, consider reducing the amount of sea salt flakes.