½ clove garlic , chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
3 good handfuls fresh basil , leaves picked and chopped
1 handful pine nuts , very lightly toasted
1 good handful Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small squeeze lemon juice , optional
- Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food processor.
- Add a bit more garlic if you like, but I usually stick to ½ a clove.
- Add the pine nuts to the mixture and pound again.
- Turn out into a bowl and add half the Parmesan.
- Stir gently and add olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.
- Season to taste, then add most of the remaining cheese.
- Pour in some more oil and taste again.
- Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.
- You may like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little twang, but it’s not essential. Try it with and without and see which you prefer.