Below is the pesto recipe I used for baked ziti. I buy basil from TJs and it comes in an obnoxiously large portion. Usually I try to form a few recipes around it but even then some always goes to waste. Not anymore! I know most pesto recipes are made with pine nuts, but this recipe calls for toasted almonds. Almonds are not only cheaper, but they are also more accessible. When you put the pesto in the ziti, I promise you won’t miss the pine nuts!
1/4 cup almonds
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pinch ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F. Place almonds on a cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
In a blender, combine toasted almonds, garlic, basil, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pulse until desired consistency.