Though marinara is fabulous on pizza, it’s not the only way to go. Try a pesto base, and you won’t be disappointed. Not familiar with pesto? Pesto is to basil what chocolate is to cacao–a perfect combination to enhance a dynamic ingredient. Though it may be a little late in the season to whip up a huge batch for your freezer, you can likely still find some good-looking basil in smaller quantities at our local farmers’ market.
This recipe makes a small batch perfect for a pizza. Feel free to double, quadruple, etc., for larger batches for your freezer.
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (can be substituted with walnuts, though pine nuts are preferred)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- kosher salt, to taste
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add cheese and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Top with 1/2 inch olive oil and chill.)
Three Basil Pesto
This recipe makes a batch large enough for a couple of pizzas and some leftovers.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (1/4 pound)
- 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 cup packed Italian basil leaves
- 1/2 cup packed bush basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh lemon basil leaves
- 3/4 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then add nuts, cheeses, a large handful of herbs, and 1 teaspoon pepper and process until chopped. Add remaining herbs one handful at a time, pulsing after each addition until finely chopped. With the motor running, add oil and blend until incorporated.