Authentic Italian Pesto Recipe!

This pesto recipe shows you how to make pesto easy with a food processor or more in a traditional way with a mortar and pestle.

It's a basil sauce that comes from the city of Genoa in the Ligurian region of northwest Italy.

Here you'll learn how to make pesto the traditionally way with a mortar and pestle, the one done by Italian grandmothers.

Nowadays an easy food processor or the blender are more practical and very often used, even if many pesto lovers would probably refuse and accomplish the traditional recipe.

Spaghetti With Pesto

Pesto Recipe

Ingredients: serves 4

  • ¼ cup (60g) pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb (450g) small basil leaves
  • 8 tbsp (ml.118) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp (5g) salt
  • ¼ cup (60g) grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • ¼ cup (60g) grated pecorino cheese

Preparation: easy

Pasta with this pesto recipe makes an excellent main course. It's traditionally served with trofie, but spaghetti, homemade orecchiette or homemade gnocchi goes either well.

Quick if you use a food processor or blender.

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, stir frequently until golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Place the garlic cloves, pine nuts, basil leaves, olive oil and salt in your food processor, process until smooth stopping as necessary.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir in the finely grated parmesan and pecorino.

If you want you can cover the pesto with a thin film of oil and keep refrigerated for a few days.

Method with Mortar & Pestle

If you decide to make pesto the traditional way it will require you about fifteen minutes or more just for pounding alone.

The basil must be broken down totally to get the full basil flavor of pesto made in a mortar and pestle. But you must belive me, it's worth it!

  1. Start pounding an handful of basil leaves, a garlic clove, a pinch of salt
  2. Add a few pine nuts.
  3. Pour a little stream of olive oil and keep pounding while you add a spoon of Parmesan and one of pecorino cheese.
  4. Repeat this process until you finish all the ingredients.

I guarantee you that the advantage of using the method with mortar and pestle is that you'll produce a pesto with a full basil flavor.

I fully understand because this is much more work to make pesto and if you don't have much time go for the food processor method.

Method with Mortar & Pestle

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