My maternal grandmother is 100% Italian and a cook by trade, so you can imagine she makes the most delicious food. One thing that is frustrating about it is that she cooks entirely by instinct for all of her signature dishes, and even if she tries to write it down just the way she does it, it never comes out the same for anyone else. She makes the world’s most delicious homemade ravioli and also pierogies (she married a Polish man, so she learned to cook Polish food as well.) Anyhow, when she relates how to make something, it does not come out in standard recipe form. In her honor (and because, I really do make it with taste and texture as my guides:
pine nuts, roasted (you can buy them this way or roast them yourself)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
In a food processor or blender chop up at least 3 cloves of garlic, a whole lot of basil (if you have a Trader Joes, about a whole TJs clamshell worth, I think ~40 medium to extra large leaves), and 3-4 ounces of pine nuts. Add olive oil to make it a good consistency. Add parmesean cheese to taste (1/2 a cup?) and a wee bit of salt and pepper. This will make enough pesto for at LEAST two pounds of pasta. Pesto freezes well and keeps in the fridge for a while, too.