Pesto alla genovese is the sauce that made Genova and Liguria famous around the world. It is one of those things that almost everyone buys at the supermarket but it is really so easy and fast to make at home and the taste is incomparable.
You can use a mortar (the real thing) or a hand blender/food processor (the quick version). In the second case you should put the blades and the glass of the blender in the freezer for some time so that the basil leaves do not oxidate and they keep a bright green color.
Fresh pesto stays good in the fridge for a couple of days only but you can freeze it in small jars and you’ll always have a fantastic pasta sauce ready for the days when you have no time to cook.
Time: 5 minutes with a blender, 15 minutes with a mortar
2 handfuls of basil leaves
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp grated parmesan
a mild extra virgin olive oil
a clove of garlic if you like
With pestle and mortar
- Wash the basil leaves and place them in the mortar with the garlic (if you like it). Crush them to reach a creamy texture then add the pine nuts. Crush till it’s a uniform paste, adding some olive oil. Finally add the parmesan and adjust the salt.
With a hand blender or food processor
- Place the cup and the blades of the blender in the freezer for some time till they are very cold.
- Wash the basil leaves and mix them with the pine nuts, the garlic (only if you like) and some olive oil. Add the grated parmesan and stir. Add oil to reach a creamy texture. Adjust of salt at the end.