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Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once halfway through, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool. Add cheese and garlic and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add basil and place the top back on. With the motor running, add oil in a slow and steady stream until pesto is mostly smooth, with just a few flecks of green, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Top with ½" oil to prevent browning. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface, and chill.
Cooks’ Note: If you want to use this with pasta, cook 12 oz. dried pasta (we prefer long pasta for pesto) in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
Place pesto and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, in a large bowl. Add pasta and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid. Using tongs, toss vigorously, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Season with salt.
Divide pasta among bowls. Top with finely grated Parmesan.