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. Classic Pesto

This recipe makes a small batch perfect for a pizza.  Feel free to double, quadruple, etc. for larger batches for your freezer.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both cheeses and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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 motor running, add oil and blend until incorporated.