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Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts chopped
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor.   Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.  Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.  Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.  Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Serve with pasta, risotto, mashed potatoes or over toasted slices of French or Italian bread

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