2 cups of fresh basil leaves (if the leaves are large, tear into small pieces)
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of grated Romano cheese
½ cup to ¾ cup of olive oil (half olive oil and half extra-virgin)
1 pound of rotelli pasta or other pastas like conchiglie (fluted shell) pasta can be used
- Put all of the ingredients in a food processor bowl except for the olive oil. Process until the consistency is pasty, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Pour ½ cup olive oil through the feed tube of the processor until all is evenly mixed; add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil if a more liquid consistency is desired, set aside.
- In a large pot bring 6 quarts of water, to which two tablespoons of salt has been added to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (about 7 to 11 minutes). Before draining the pasta save one cup of the cooking water.
- Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed dish. Toss with butter if desired.
- Add the pesto sauce, a little of the cooking water, if necessary, then toss well and serve hot or at room temperature.