In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. In a large bowl, toss pasta with pesto. Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid if pasta seems to dry. Serve immediately.