I've decided: for my last meal on earth, if I can't have In And Out Burger (hey, I was once an omnivore, too), I want to have a pound of pasta, covered in fresh pesto. That's it. Nothing extra, nothing fancy. I won't require any sides or extra seasoning. Just basil and garlic will do.
Now, to avoid this conversation from getting too morbid--I haven't thought about my last meal all that much, don't worry--let's get to the good stuff. Though you could pretty much make a pesto sauce out of anything you want (you know, if you want to get inventive beyond herbs and nuts), the traditional go-to recipe is:
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
The end. This post is basically over. Just kidding, no it's not.
What you do with these fantastic ingredients is really up to you. While I'm happy smother a steamy bowl of pasta with this stuff, others may be more interested in using it to top their vegetables, perhaps in place of butter of a crusty hunk of bread. No judgement.
What you should know, however, are the basic rules: For every large bunch of basil leaves, you will need:
About 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
About 1/4 cup of cheese, according to taste
About 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
About 4 tablespoons olive oil, ish
How's that for a finely tuned recipe? I know, I know. The point here is that if you like it cheesy or full of garlic pow, the adjustable amounts are there for the taking (or the leaving).
To prepare the pesto, you can certainly make your life easier by investing in a food processor (even a small one will work if made in baby batches)---while we do happen to have a pretty fantastic food processor, we have still yet to unveil it from its original packaging. Again, the curse of a tiny kitchen. If this is also your scenario, or if you simply have yet to purchase said kitchen necessity, with patience and knife-wielding fortitude, you can still achieve the same result by hand. Just secure yourself a freshly sharpened chef's knife, a cutting board and chop 'til you drop. More or less.
It's not impossible, seeing as that's how I achieved this present (and all others following) batch of pesto. I mean, in the end, no one's really asking how it's made, are they? They're too busy eating to care.