classic basil pesto

This green basil sauce is related to Genoa and entitled pesto alla Genovese. Pesto is a generic name in today’s food terms for whatever is grinded, grated, or crushed, in the ‘pesto manner’ of mixing probably originated from the Persians. However, an even older version of making a similar type of sauce of coriander and garlic was found in the Middle East (A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A Wright, William Morris 1999).

fresh basil for pesto recipe

Another ancestor of the worldwide popular pesto Genovese believes that it is the moretum that the ancient Romans ate and is made from blended garlic, parsley, oil, vinegar and sheep milk. In the Italian Dictionary of Food and Drink, the first report of basil pesto is in a Florentine cookbook dated 1848. Historically, therefore, the Genovese used a marble mortar and wooden pestle to pulp the basil leaves, garlic, grated hard cheese (parmesan, pecorino etc.) and- the specific difference- pinenuts, with a little oil to make the well known basil pesto.

It’s worth noting that the French also developed the just as well known pistou, and the homonym soup, sometimes adding parsley, adding or omitting the cheese at will, but not including the pinenuts. The pistou is made without.

Depending on the type of basil (flat leaved, dark, peppery etc.) the pesto will differ in aroma and taste. The easiest one to use is the flat leaved type and the spiciest tasting is the winter pesto. However it is made, basil pesto pairs very well with spaghetti and most pasta, spread on canapé and sandwiches, and it is perfect with mayonnaise or plain next to grilled meat or fish. To return to the original idea, it is one of the best simplest recipes and tasty solution for a fresh pasta sauce for company.

Basil Pesto Recipe

Preparation: Wash the leaves well; various bugs consider basil a gourmet food!! Make large amounts of pesto and store in jars, with the top layer covered in olive oil, in the fridge. It can also be frozen in well-sealed jars for months.

100g basil leaves, washed and dried
4-5 cloves of garlic, cleaned, without green shoots
100ml olive oil
50g grated parmesan or pecorino
50g pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the basil pesto: Finely chop garlic on fastest blender speed. Add the basil leaves, finely chop and when the blades turn freely and have finished cutting, begin to slowly add the olive oil until a thick sauce forms. Add the parmesan and when blended, add the pinenuts and blend. Finally, add salt and pepper. Ready!

pasta with basil pesto

Note: Basil contains enough water in its leaves, which is released into the sauce. Before you make the pesto, wash and dry the leaves well. If the amount turns out more than needed, put the remainder in hermetically sealed jars, covering the surface with olive oil. This way it keeps in the fridge for a long time.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Enter your e-mail and stay up date with the latest trends and news about our events

    Leave A Comment