Original Pesto Genovese Recipe was born in Liguria, a beautiful region situated in the north of Italy. It’s one of the sauces most used in our country and nowadays it’s famous all over the world.
This is the official recipe taken from Consorzio Pesto Genovese that is very specific about exactly where the ingredients should come from.
Pesto Genovese is often prepared with the addition of ricotta cheese, cashew nuts, seeds oil, green beans, lemon juice and other ingredients that have nothing to do with the traditional pesto genovese recipe.
Pesto is a uncooked cold sauce made with only 7 ingredients: Genovese basil DOP, extra virgin olive oil (Possibly of the Ligurian Riviera), Parmigiano Reggiano (or Grana Padano), Pecorino cheese (fiore sardo), pine nuts, garlic and salt.
Obviously feel free to replace the ingredients; I realize that it’s difficult to find all the ingredients of the Italian tradition in foreign countries, especially the Genovese basil.
Original pesto genovese recipe suggests 2 cloves of garlic. I usually prefer using only 1. I think it’s enough for 6 yelds. And I know that some people do not tolerate garlic so if you want you can not use it at all in your recipe. Your pesto will be yummy nevertheless.
To make the authentic Pesto Genovese recipe it’s necessary to use a marble mortar and a wooden pestle and … a lot of patience. Sorry, but I’m not a patient person. I can’t think to spend quite 1 hour (sweating…) to make pesto when in 15 minutes I can obtain a very acceptable results using a blender. Marble mortar and wooden pestle make sure that basil leaves do not darken. The steel blades of the mixer tend to oxidize basil. This way you’ll have a very dark green and slightly bitter pesto.
If you do not take some care and follow some tips, the result will not be excellent using a blender. That’s why you have to carefully follow the instructions below.
Original Pesto Genovese Recipe
Prep Time: 15 Min
- 50 g (1,7 oz) of small basil leaves (about 60/65 leaves)
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 70 g (2,4 oz) of Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano (about 6 tablespoons)
- 30 g (1 oz) of Pecorino Fiore Sardo (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 15 g (0,5 oz) of pine nuts (about 1 tablespoon )
- 4/5 grains of coarse salt
Take the blades and the bowl of the blender and put them into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until the tools are very cold. Prepare basil leaves (1) washing them with cold water. Place them in a large bowl with plenty of ice for 3-4 minutes (2). When all it’s ready, place basil leaves (without the ice) into the blender with garlic, pine nuts and grated Parmigiano (3). If you will follow these tips you’ll have a very green pesto sauce.
Coarsely chop the ingredients for a few seconds (4) then add salt and pecorino cheese cut into small pieces. Mix all the ingredients for about 1 minute then, always mixing, add extra virgin olive oil (5). Continue mixing (about 5 minutes) until you’ll see a creamy pesto sauce (6).
If pesto is too dense it does’t matter. Pour it into a little bowl and dilute it with 1/2 tablespoons of cooking water. This way you’ll have a warmed homogeneous soft pesto sauce ready for your pasta dish.
How to preserve pesto recipe
Preserve freshly prepared pesto in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in jars taking care to cover the pesto sauce with a layer of oil.
It’s possible to freeze pesto in small jars. Thaw it at room temperature.
How to store basil for a month
You can keep fresh basil leaves in the refrigerator for a month observing some small tricks.
Take the basil and put its roots in a glass full of water (7). Cover the leaves with a plastic bag, the one you usually use for food (8). Then place it in the refrigerator door, which is the warmest zone (9). It will keep for a month. Use it to make an excellent pesto recipe or to flavor the tomato sauce.