Every year I grow enough basil leaves to see me through the summer and, most importantly, to make at least one homemade pesto sauce.
A lot of precious leaves are needed to make up 2oz (50g), but it really is worth it as the homemade version puts all the ready-made ones in the shade. If you can get Pecorino Romano it has a more gutsy flavour than Parmesan, but if you can't Parmesan will do. Vegetarians might like to know you can buy a vegetarian style Parmesan cheese from Bookham and Harrsion Farms Ltd
The Delia Online Cookery School: You can now watch how to make Home-made Pesto Sauce in our video, click the image to play.
This recipe is from Delia's Summer Collection. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see questions Lindsey has answered on this recipe
Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil together with some salt in a mini-chopper and whizz, then push any unblended basil leaves down with a spatula and whizz again until you have a smooth purée.
Then transfer the purée to a bowl and stir in the grated Pecorino Romano cheese. If you don't have a mini-chopper, you can use a large pestle and mortar to pound the basil, garlic and pine nuts to a paste. Slowly add the salt and cheese, then very gradually add the oil until you have obtained a smooth purée. If you want to make pesto in advance - cover it with cling film, making sure it actually touches the surface of the sauce. You can keep it in the fridge for a week.