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Pesto alla Genovese - Classic Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves (110g, 3.9oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (60g, 2.1oz)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (12g, .4oz)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino romano cheese


To make in the food processor:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and process until creamy.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the two cheeses.

To make with mortar and pestle:

  1. Combine basil, pine nuts, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt (coarse is better here) in the mortar. Using the pestle with a rotary, grinding motion, grind the ingredients into a paste against the sides of the mortar.
  2. Add both cheeses and using the pestle grind into the paste.
  3. Pour in olive oil in a thin stream and beat until incorporated with a wooden spoon.