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It takes less than 10 minutes to whack together a great pesto in the food processor. Fresh basil leaves, a few spoonfuls of toasted pine nuts, garlic, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil, plus—crucially!—really good-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. (Here’s an alternate pesto recipe that’s a little bolder, thanks to an addition of Pecorino Romano cheese.) Take advantage of summer’s last bumper crop of fresh basil by making three or four times our basic recipe, then reap the dividend via these 6 pesto-lavished recipes. Oh, and any pesto you’re not going to use in the next few days, freeze for up to a month.
1. Pesto, Chicken, and White Bean Soup
Pesto is the terminal addition to this homey, comforting, and healthy soup—it adds perfume, umami richness, and a tinge of dark green. Serve extra pesto on the side, for guests to stir into their bowls as they wish. Get our Pesto, Chicken, and White Bean Soup recipe.
2. Classic Pesto Pasta Salad
This colorful pasta salad is the height of simplicity. It should be, since the ingredients—including pesto—are great on their own. The garnish of fresh basil gilds the lily in the nicest way possible. Get our Classic Pesto Pasta Salad recipe.
3. Pesto and Pea Lasagna
We love surprising guests with something they think they know, then—after a taste—realize they don’t. This vegetarian lasagna variant calls for basil pesto and a pea-and-ricotta filling that’s simple and delicious. Get our Pesto and Pea Lasagna recipe.
4. Fettuccine with Pesto, Asparagus, and Artichoke
This is one of the most elegantly simple pasta recipes we know. Lithe, perfectly al dente fettuccine is tossed with thin asparagus shavings and pesto, before being joined with seared baby artichoke halves. Get our Fettuccine with Pesto, Asparagus, and Artichoke recipe.
5. Breakfast Sandwich with Pesto Scrambled Eggs and Crispy Pancetta
The diner standby breakfast sandwich, with scrambled eggs and bacon, becomes something extra-special in this version that mixes pesto into the egg and subs crispy pancetta for the meat element. Get our Breakfast Sandwich with Pesto Scrambled Eggs and Crispy Pancetta recipe.
6. Pesto Deviled Eggs
Pistou (the French name for basil pesto) is the eye-opening addition to deviled eggs in this fresh, summery recipe. It’s optional, but a garnish of finely diced ratatouille is a pretty terminal garnish. Get our Pesto Deviled Eggs recipe.