To toast pine nuts, spread in single layer in heavy frying pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted for 1 to 2 minutes.
Combine oil,basil,cheese,nuts and 1 tablespoon lemon juice (if desired) in blender jar of the KitchenAid ARTISAN Power Plus Blender. Secure lid and turn dial to Speed 3 or 4. Blend, using the Flex Edge tamper to push down ingredients as needed, until well mixed for about 1 minute. You may need to stop blender a few times to scrape sides and bottom of jar with tamper to ensure ingredients are evenly mixed.
If pesto is too thick, blend in splash or two of oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if needed. Serve at once, or transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months (the pesto will darken over time).
Toss the pesto with freshly cooked linguine, tortellini or other pasta, or use to top grilled chicken or pan-seared fish. It’s also great spread on a grilled cheese sandwich or stirred into mayonnaise for an upgraded sandwich spread.
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