For 500gr of Pasta, ideally short pasta such as fusilli, trofie and maccheroni
50gr basil leaves, green and fresh
½ glass extra virgin olive oil, from Liguria as per the DOP regulation, or similar taste profile. Oils from the south could be overpowering
2 gloves of garlic
20gr Pine nuts
A pinch of ground rock salt
120gr Parmigiano Reggiano
40 gr Pecorino
Pesto, originally from Liguria, Genoa, is an easy to make and very versatile sauce that not only can be used on the pasta, but on many more dishes, from brushettas to meat dishes
Wash and dry the basil making sure not to damage it. Combine garlic and salt and start crashing them, ideally with a pestle and mortar, then add the pine nuts and continue. When the ingredients resemble to a cream, start adding the basil leaves.
Once the basil is crushed, we add the cheeses and very slowly the extra virgin olive oil, drop by drop.
The pesto can be stored in the fridge for 5/6 days, just add a layer of olive oil on top to cover it, or it can be frozen.
Vegetable oil is a cheaper alternative to extra virgin olive oil and can be used, however, the flavour won’t be the same
Cheeses needs to be matured to add flavour and balance the recipe, Grana DOP is a cheaper alternative of Parmigiano and the percentage can be changed based on personal taste
Pine nuts can be replaced with walnuts, similar taste
I have come across recipes using roasted pine nuts, it can be done, but by doing that, the pine nuts flavour becomes stronger
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