Heat a pan and add lightly toast almonds for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat. Set aside in a tray or plate for the almonds to cool.
Rinse the basil leaves using a strainer or colander.
Spread them on a tray or a dry colander or strainer so that they dry naturally. You can use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.
Making basil pesto sauce
Once the almonds cool at room temperature, add them in a food processor or food chopper or a small to medium grinder jar.
Crush them coarsely.
Add the basil leaves which has been rinsed first and then dried naturally. Also add the garlic cloves. Optionally you can also whole black peppers. Season with salt.
Process or crush the leaves and from the top add olive oil in parts. If adding extra virgin olive oil directly in the jar, then add in parts and blend.
Grind to a semi fine or chunky consistency according to your preferences. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice to preserve the green color.
Remove the pesto in a mixing bowl or pan. Use a spatula to remove the pesto from the sides and bottom of the food processor, food chopper or grinder jar. Cover and keep aside.
Making pesto pasta
Bring water and salt to a boil on a medium to high flame.
When the water comes to a boil, then add the pasta.
Cook the pasta till they are al dente. Depending on your taste preferences, you can even cook them till they are completely done.
With a slotted spoon take the pasta from the pan. Drain it very well.
Add the cooked pasta in a mixing bowl. Add all of the prepared pesto sauce.
Mix very well. If you want you can add some lemon juice or crushed black pepper or extra virgin olive oil.
Serve pesto pasta garnished with some vegetarian parmesan cheese or vegan cheese. Garnish is optional.
Basil: Use fresh basil in the recipe and avoid dry or wilted leaves. Basil can be substituted with some mint leaves or a mix of mint and cilantro.
Nuts: Replace almonds with pine nuts, walnuts, cashews or pistachios.
Scaling: This pesto recipe is for 2 cup of dried pasta, but you can easily double or triple the sauce recipe and have it for a larger serving of pasta or pizzas, or just to have in the fridge for when you need to add some extra flavor to your sandwich or toast.
Adding Vegetables: For added nutrition, feel free to add some mixed veggies to the pasta and sauce. Simply steam or boil or roast some vegetables and toss them with the finished pasta and sauce.