Authentic Italian basil pesto

    20 min

    An authentic Genovese pesto. It's straight from Italy and you won't find a better recipe! This calls for a spoonful of Pecorino cheese, but you could also use all Parmesan in a pinch.

    14 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    • 80g basil - rinsed, dried and leaves torn from stems
    • 40g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
    • 10g grated Pecorino Sardo or Pecorino Romano cheese
    • 100ml extra virgin olive oil, or as needed

    Prep:20min  ›  Ready in:20min 

    1. Crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle. Add the pine nuts and crush with the garlic. Gradually add the basil leaves, working into a smooth paste using circular movements with the pestle.
    2. Mix in the cheese using a wooden spoon, then stir in the oil till combined.


    If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can also use a food processor or blender. Chill the blade and container in the fridge for 1 hour and then process in pulses to avoid heating the pesto mixture. Add the basil, pine nuts and garlic in thirds, then follow with the cheese and oil as above.


    To store in fridge for up to 1 month: place pesto in a jar, cover with olive oil and top with a lid.


    Authentic Italian basil pesto
    Authentic Italian basil pesto

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    Reviews in English (3)


    Just made it to taste, didn't even measure anything. Pesto is SUPER easy to make and delicious. Added to spaghetti noodles and some blackened chicken to make an awesome pasta dinner. Everyone had seconds (some had a THIRD plate.)  -  14 Dec 2018  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Very good pesto. I have so much basil in my garden I will have to make at least 25 more batches before it's over. I did add a small amount of spinach to add a little more color and it was really tasty. Everyone loved it at work.  -  23 Sep 2018  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Delicious! LOVED the combo of the Parmesan and Romano. I used my food processor for this. One of my favorite ways to use fresh basil from the garden. A keeper, for sure~YUM!!!! Thanks for sharing.  -  12 Sep 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)