4 cups basil, slightly packed--we use fresh from our garden
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (shredded or shaved works)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts--toasting the pine nuts is optional, but it makes the flavor much richer
1 small clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
In food processor, combine 2 cups basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add olive oil until you reach the consistency you're looking for. Add the rest of the ingredients, and again, olive oil until the pesto reaches the right consistency. I never measure the olive oil; to me it depends on the ingredients how much olive oil we use.
If you are going to mix the pesto on top of pasta, I recommend saving about 3 tablespoons of your pasta water to mix in with the pesto. It gives the whole dish a creamier taste.
Pesto will stay in freezer or refrigerator. If you are going to store the pesto, consider putting olive oil on top to keep the flavor. Then, when you go to use the pesto, remove the extra olive oil from the top.