Tonight's plan is to do a quick and easy pasta dish with a whole wheat blend spaghetti and some homemade pesto that I have in the freezer. I make my pesto with very little oil so that I can use it for various things - such as a spread for crackers. By adding some broth, oil or half and half (or a combo of any), I can turn the pesto into a sauce for pasta or pizza. We'll have a salad to go with it.
I freeze basil in small portions to use as needed. The basil does get a little brownish, but you can brighten it up very easily by taking it for a whirl in the food processor with a little fresh spinach. Or, use a lot of fresh spinach if you want to turn it into a lighter, healthier pesto. I use a spinach-enhanced version of pesto on salmon for a recipe that I will post later when I have more time. Until then.....
Here is the recipe that I use. It calls for a very large amount of oil - I probably only add a tablespoon or two - just until it starts to come together. I call it Georgie's Pesto - I got the recipe from a friend of my mom's.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 large cloves garlic
1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts or pine nuts) (I've tried all 3 nuts and personally prefer pine nuts)
1 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.