This classic dish is quick and easy to make with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Storing pesto with a layer of olive oil on top helps keep the basil from getting dark.
Pinch basil leaves off the stem and discard the stems. Rinse leaves in a colander.
In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts into a fine paste.
Add the basil, whole garlic cloves, cheese, and half of the olive oil into the food processor and pulse until a smooth paste.
Transfer the pesto to a food-safe storage container and pour the remaining olive oil on top.
In a large pot, fill with 80% water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
Cook the pasta according to its instructions on the package.
Mix the pesto sauce with the cooked pasta and serve immediately.