How to make Authentic Italian Pesto Genovese – Basil Pesto


How to make Authentic Italian Pesto Genovese – Basil Pesto

Pesto Genovese is a typical Italian condiment, particularly from the Ligurian cuisine based on basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parmesan, pecorino, pine nuts, salt;

which are “pounded raw” in a special mortar with pestle, until they are reduced to a creamy, fragrant, and tasty sauce, which takes the name of Pesto Genovese!

This is the original method, but many Italian families do it using a blender and I assure you that if you follow my advice you will make a very good Pesto Genovese!

Perfect for dressing pasta, or a rice salad, but also for spreading on bruschetta! How do you make homemade Pesto Genovese in just a few steps? I’ll explain it to you in this easy recipe with many useful tips and all the tricks for a perfect result as an Italian tradition!

All use fresh and top-quality ingredients! and I recommend, the main ingredient, namely basil, must be green, intact, turgid, free of sizes and fractures, and above all dry! Remember that the water wrinkles the leaves, and blackens them, compromising the color of the pesto!

I prepare a good supply when the basil is more fragrant and in season, I portion it in plastic cups and store it in the freezer for the colder months: in this way, even in December, I can enjoy a good Pesto Genovese.

Follow the procedure carefully and I am sure that from today you will not buy Pesto Genovese Authentic Italian Basil Pesto again!

Pesto Genovese Authentic Italian Basil Pesto
Pesto Genovese Authentic Italian Basil Pesto

Recipe Difficulty Level: super easy

Ingredients forPesto Genovese:

  • 160 g (5.6 oz) of fresh basil leaves (if you buy it with the stem the weight must at least be double)
  • 70 g (2.4 oz) of grated pecorino (if you do not find it, use just grated parmesan)
  • 60 g (2.1 oz) of grated parmesan
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 70 g (½ cup) of pine nuts
  • Salt
  • 150 ml (⅔ cup) of extra virgin olive oil 
Pasta with pesto genovese
Pasta with pesto genovese


Clean the basil and dry them with a paper towel (lay them on a paper towel until they are dry).

With an electric blender, whip for a few seconds 80 g (2.8 oz) of basil, 70 g(½ cup) of pine nuts, and 150 ml (⅔ cup) of extra virgin olive oil.

Mix with a spoon, add the rest of the basil, and blend for a few more seconds.

Add 70 g (2.4 oz) of pecorino and 60 g (2.1 oz) of parmesan (alternatively only 130 g (4.5 oz) of parmesan).

Blend for 10-15 seconds (if you blend for long, the leaves of basil will become dark).

Mix with a spoon and blend for another 10 seconds.

Blend for a few seconds and then stop until you obtain the right consistency of the pesto. If necessary, add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. 


-If you do not like garlic, you can do a pesto also without it.

-Often in Genoa, they eat pasta with pesto and boiled string beans, try it!

-Keep the pesto in your fridge, in a glass jar and cover it with a little be of oil (in this way, it will last for one week). You can also freeze the pesto and de-frozen the night before lunch. 

Buon appetito!

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