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The original Pesto alla genovese

Pesto is a delicious Italian sauce for pasta. It’s very popular but also very misrepresented.
I found this recipe from Il consorzio del pesto genovese, an Italian association created to protect the original recipe.
As Italian living in USA, I do my best to protect the tradition while still keeping the recipe feasible, given the limited access to certain ingredients.

  • Basil 50 grams
  • Extra virgin olive oil 50ml
  • Parmigiano 50 grams
  • Pecorino 15 grams
  • Garlic 2 cloves
  • Pinoli (pine nuts) 7 grams
  • Coarse Salt a pinch

The process is pretty simple, but requires a little bit of patience.
Put the salt and the garlic into a mortar and work the cloves until they form a cream.

Now add the pinoli and keep working them in the mortar, until creamed and blended with the garlic.

Then, add the basil leaves, a few at the time.
The best way to work the leaves is by rotating the pestle against the mortar’s borders. It takes time, but it’s the best way to extract the basil’s oils.

Now it’s time to add the cheeses, use the pestle to combine them in the mortar. After a few seconds you should have a well blended and thick sauce.

Time to add the oil, mix and serve!

I like to serve my pesto with linguine (full recipe coming soon).

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