With just a handful of ingredients, you can make this simple, versatile and delicious sauce

Most things are better when they're made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands is super satisfying. Not to mention, when you prepare something from the very start, you know exactly what ingredients went into your meal, and it allows you to adjust the recipe for dietary or taste preferences.

Pesto is easy to make from scratch and super versatile. I use it on all kinds of pastas and as a spread for bread and sandwiches. You can mix it up each time and add in various ingredients to create different flavours. I used sun-dried tomatoes in the pesto pictured above.

Easy freezer hack: Use an ice cube tray to freeze portions of the pesto so when you need some, just drop a cube or two in a pan to heat it up (you may need to add a bit more olive oil or pasta water to thin it out).

Christine McAvoyChristine McAvoyINGREDIENTS

  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts 
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1/3 cup vegan Parmesan 
  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional ingredients: 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (if oil-packed, drain them and use the oil from the jar instead of the olive oil, but be sure to measure it out); you can also add red pepper flakes or other spicy ingredients for a kick 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pulse all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor until they begin to blend. While the machine is running, pour in the olive oil slowly.
  2. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. 
  3. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month or so.

Makes 1 cup