Add pine nuts and garlic into a food processor. Pulse several times, until finely chopped.
Add basil leaves, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Pulse a few times, until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
While machine is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until the mixture is combined, but still has some texture.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
Leftover pesto can be stored in an air-tight container, with a layer of olive oil on top, for up to 1 week.
To Freeze Pesto:
Transfer mixture into an air-tight container and drizzle a layer of olive oil over the pesto. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into an ice cube tray, freeze until solid, then store in a freezer safe zip-top bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
I don't toast my pine nuts for pesto, as the raw nuts create a creamier texture. You can lightly toast them if you want to.
You can substitute walnuts, pumpkin seeds or pistachios for the pine nuts.
You can substitute Pecorino cheese for Parmesan cheese.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is excellent in this recipe, but any fresh Parmesan cheese is a good option.
Don't have a food processor? You can make this recipe in a mortar and pestle instead.
Please note that the nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate, and has been calculated using a plugin.