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This green basil, pine nut and garlic sauce is the pride of Genoa. Serve pesto with any pasta of your choice, cooked, drained, and placed in a warmed dish as a first course. Pesto is also excellent with potatoes or as a base sauce for pizza.


2 T basil (finely chopped)
1 T garlic (finely chopped, about 3 cloves)
1 T pine nuts (shelled)
2 T cheese (grated Parmesan)
1⁄2 c olive oil
  salt (to taste)



Pound garlic and pine nuts together using mortar and pestle.

Add the chopped basil and Parmesan cheese,

Incorporate the oil, slowly, until you reach the desired texture. Season.


Place all ingredients in the container for the blender or food processor.

Blitz until ingredients are chopped and mixed to the desired consistency.

Check seasoning.

Total time
10 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
6 servings


Though mortar and pestle are the traditional utensils, you can use a food processor or blender to process basil, garlic, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil. Pesto prepared this way does not have the same texture and becomes more of a paste, however it stills tastes great and only takes 5 minutes.

If using a food processor to make pesto, you do not need to finley chop the basil or garlic in advance, and the cheese does not need to be grated, but cut into small pieces. You can use a mini chopper with a sharp blade to chop the basil.

If you don’t have it, substitute basil with parsley, pine nuts with any other shelled nuts. Add more olive oil if the pesto is too thick or the flavor too strong.

Thick pesto makes a nice spread on toast as a snack, for a buffet or a tapas session.


Italian cuisine

very easy, mix
sauces, condiments
Italian food recipes
Food in Europe