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Pesto Genovese (classic basil pesto)

Pesto Genovese (classic basil pesto)

4 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 packed cups sweet Italian basil, leaves picked, thick stems removed
1/2 cup good quality olive oil (add as needed if consistency is too thick)
1⁄2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup Pecorino Fiore Sardo (Pecorino Sardo), finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in food processor, Vitamix, or blender* and blend until coarsely combined or smooth depending on preference. Stop 3-4 times to scrape sides with spatula. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Top with 1/2 inch olive oil and chill. This prevents browning of basil.) Enjoy with pasta**, on sandwiches, or as a dip!
*Preparation Tip: A trick to avoid the risk of the heat produced by the food processor spoiling the pesto flavor is best to put the removable parts of the processor or the blender in the freezer for a couple of hours before using it. Also, in order to reduce the amount of time the leaves are in contact with the blades (causing browning and spoiling flavor) put all your ingredients in the food processor at once using the maximum speed; if you work fast, you'll get a great pesto. (It's helpful to stop the processor three or four times to scrape the pesto from the sides with a spatula.)
**Serving Tip: To serve with pasta, combine with a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water so it will coat the pasta evenly.
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