There is no easier, yummier dish in the summertime (or anytime these days) than PESTO! I have been making it since the days I lived in Italy, there I kept it very traditional and since I was macrobiotic at that time I used to make it without dairy so no Parmesan (also delicious!).
I grow my own basil but I swear it's never enough so I get big bunches of organic basil at the farmers market too. I have on of those small handy food processors which makes this whole process easy and hardly any mess. I never measure so I will just speak in 'handfuls' in my recipe and you make your adjustment depending on your taste and your families likes and dislikes.
3-4 cups fresh organic basil (stems removed)
1-2 cups parsley
Handful of pine nuts* good quality (I explain why later)
Handful of Parmesan
Salt & pepper (I like lots of pepper)
Good quality olive oil (makes a big difference in pesto!)
Optional: garlic clove (I'll explain later)
One small head broccoli cut into small pieces
Cook your favorite pasta, I like curly or elephants ears so that the pesto gets into the yummy crevices, but I also made one of my best pestos with orzo (there is a whole wheat biodynamic one that's so good!) I cut the broccoli into small pieces and throw in at the end of the pasta cooking (one pan and easier) - remember to save some pasta water aside (it's good luck) when you drain in case you need to add to pesto.
And make enough for leftovers - day-old pesto is so great!
I stuff my small processor with basil until it's full and then I add a handful of parsley. I put parsley in everything in the summertime, it's SO good for you and makes anything you make tastier! My kids love it too. Add the pine nuts* and Parmesan and buzz, slowly add olive oil until it becomes a nice thick consistency. Some people like it thin and runny but I feel like it sticks to the pasta nicely when it's thick. Remember you can add your good quality olive oil later, when you are tossing the pasta, if you want more.
Toss the pasta + pesto + broccoli and your done! You can top with some toasted pine nuts. And add more salt and pepper to taste. It's that simple! And your meal is done! You have all your good groups and it's delicious!
I love to serve this with a delicious very cold Lambrusco! I found this one that I really love and bring it to all the summer parties, everyone laughs.. Until they taste the slightly bubbly freshness, and they fall in love!
#pine nuts - make SURE you do not buy pine nuts from Thailand, they should be Italian. There is this crazy thing that can happen with bad quality pine nuts that will give you a metal taste, that is impossible to get rid of for about a week! All you need is one bad nut and POW you will know it when it happens.. It's totally weird.