Sides/ Summer/ Vegetarian

Adieu, Summer

I am a fall/winter creature and while I love summer grilling and all the amazing fruit and produce, I’m generally happier to wish summer farewell than I am to see it arrive. But inevitably in August I’m hit with the urge to make insane batches of pesto. This week was the perfect opportunity: when I wasn’t looking, my daughter picked every single remaining leaf off our basil plant,  I had very ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and wanted to use up two half empty containers of different types of pasta.

fresh basil leaves in a small red collanderI grew up hating everything about pesto. But one summer I was on vacation with a friend and her big Italian family (shout out to the Bruno family, who got to experience all of our teenage weirdness through many years of friendship and questionable fashion choices) and one night they served up a huge platter of pesto pasta. I had to eat it to be polite, and after the first bite I was hooked. I’ve been making the Bruno’s family pesto recipe since sometime in the early 2000’s (written down on an index card) – one of my favorite things about cooking is the memories associated with a recipe or meal, and this is definitely one of those.

I think every cook should have a go-to classic basil pesto recipe and a couple different ways this sauce can be used. To make this specific dish I tossed a batch of fresh pesto over cooked pasta, and then added in halved cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.

spoonful of pesto sauce

Bruno Family Basil Pesto

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  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 TBS pine nuts
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne



In a food processor, blend all with 1/2 cup of oil.


Slowly drizzle in remaining 1/2 cup of oil


My preference is for a fairly chunky pesto while I know others prefer an incredibly smooth sauce. Simply blend for less or more amount of time to achieve whatever consistency you prefer.

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