Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

When we started our rain gutter garden system (RGGS) this year, we knew we wanted herbs, especially basil. It is great in soups, on pizzas, and of course is a key ingredient in pesto sauce. I’ve always liked pesto, and homemade pesto is delicious and also easy to keep in the freezer. Fortunately, we had a large crop of basil from our two basil plants in the RGGS. Yes, that’s right, all the basil in the photos is from only two basil plants, and we only harvested about half of it. The rain gutter garden is perfect for growing basil, because basil wants a lot of water, and the RGGS has water on demand. Grow some basil and give making pesto a try!

Pro Tip: Try making it with a mortar and pestle, for some reason it tastes much better to me than pesto made in a food processor. No mortar and pestle? Don’t sweat it, it’ll still be good however you make it.


Recipe for pesto

Recipe originally found here: Sara Don’s Recipe for Pesto


  • 3 oz. Fresh basil
  • 1 oz. Pine nuts
  • 1 lg Garlic clove
  • 1 pinch Sea salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2.5 oz. of Grated parmesan (do not add if freezing)
  • 1 Tbsp. of Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. of Pasta water
Place a big bowl on a scale.. Add all the basil, pine nuts, oil using the tare feature on the scale between adding ingredients. Pour contents of bowl into mortar and pestle or food processor. Add coarse sea salt and garlic. Mix until blended, but don’t over mix. Continue mixing while slowly pouring in oil until combined. For pasta, strain pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid. 1 Tbsp of butter in the pasta pot (without the pasta), add 2 Tbsp of cooking liquid into the pot along with the pesto. Mix the pesto, melted butter, and cooking liquid until combined. Add pasta back to pot, and toss with pesto sauce. Serve.


If you plan on freezing any leftover pesto sauce. Do not add the parmesan cheese. Add it when you defrost it for use.

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