- 1/4 cup pine nuts , toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
- 3 medium cloves garlic , unpeeled
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (optional)
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
- Ground black pepper
1. Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes; set aside. Add the garlic to the empty skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly, then peel, and chop.
2. Place the basil and parsley (if using) in a heavy-duty 1-gallon zipper-lock plastic bag. Pound the bag with the flat side of a meat pounder or rolling pin until all the leaves are bruised.
3. Process the nuts, garlic, herbs, oil, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.