1.Blend or process the garlic, nuts and cheese until finely chopped. With the motor still running, add the basil then oil in a thin stream until combined.
2.Transfer pesto to a bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper,
3.Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, well-salted water until just tender. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water; drain. Return the pasta to the pan.
4.Add enough of the pesto and reserved cooking water to coat the pasta lightly; toss to combine.
For the following flavour variations, substitute the basil and pine nuts with: coriander and cashew; parsley and pistachio; rocket and macadamia. This recipe is best made just before serving and makes 1 cup of pesto. Any remaining pesto will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week, if covered with a thin film of oil and sealed tightly in a jar. Pesto suitable to freeze. Pasta suitable to microwave.