The pleasant, mild taste of sunflower seeds makes them a delicious–and economical–departure from pine nuts in this pesto.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup hulled sunflower seeds, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup olive oil, or more as needed
12 oz. linguine
In food processor, combine basil, sunflower seeds, garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper and process until coarsely ground. With machine running, add oil in slow, steady stream through feed tube, processing until well blended.
Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook linguine until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
Transfer linguine to large, shallow bowl. Add pesto, salt to taste and a little additional olive oil and toss to coat. Serve hot.