Diane’s Pureed Pesto – A Fifteen Minute Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 
Level: Easy

The sauce is the medium of flavor. This sauce turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. This will flavor a soup such as my recipe for minestrone, chicken, shrimp or fish, or a pasta dish, pasta primavera made with sautéed or steamed veggies. Makes about ¾ cup. Serving size for ½ cup cooked pasta is 2 tbsp.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry in a paper towel, stems removed
  • 2 large cloves garlic (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano reggiano
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, either dry toasted or raw, your taste buds rule
  • ½ cup good extra virgin olive oil


In a food chopper or mini-food processor, place the garlic cloves and the sea salt, and give them a spin until the garlic becomes minced. Also possible to grate with a fine hand-held grater.

Add basil leaves and give a second spin until basil is finely chopped.

Add one half of the olive oil and give a spin.

Add the pine nuts and Parmigiano and the rest of the olive oil and spin until you have the consistency of a sauce. You may also add the cheese at the time of service.

For the Purée  

Give the pesto an extra buzz to purée the pine nuts—DO NOT LEAVE THEM CRUNCHY as in traditional pesto. For ease of swallowing, texture is the most important thing. Run it through a mesh sieve to make sure it is smooth. To bind the puree, add a tablespoon of thickener. See Science of Puree: How to Thicken Food and Beverages.  Free Download. 

STORAGE: Store pesto in a container in refrigerator for a week. Glass is best. Freezes very well. 

Recipe from Essential Puree: The A to Z Guidebook