FRESH BASIL PESTO
How to make Authentic Italian homemade Fresh Basil Pesto.
Fresh Basil Pesto ( Genoese Pesto ) is one of the most popular and appreciated sauces not only in Italy but all over the world.
Often for convenience, we are tempted to buy basil pesto in a jar, with the knowledge that the taste of the ready-made basil pesto will never be comparable to the perfume you bring to the table with the homemade one.
So why don’t we do it at home?
To make the traditional Genoese Basil Pesto recipe, we need only seven ingredients, not one more, not one less.
Let’s see what the seven ingredients are to make the traditional fresh Basil Pesto recipe
Fresh Basil leaves, Parmesan cheese (alternatively you can use Grana Padano cheese), Sardinian pecorino cheese aged at least ten months, Garlic, Extra virgin olive oil, Pine nuts, and coarse sea salt.
Which tools do we need to make Basil Pesto?
To make this recipe in the traditional way we need a marble mortar and a wooden pestle.
If you don’t have it, you can use the food processor but obviously, the result will not be the same.
To make Fresh Basil Pesto in the mortar, crush garlic and pine nuts, then add a pinch of coarse sea salt and the basil leaves. Crush them against the side of the mortar in a circular motion until you get a paste.
Then add the cheeses and oil, continuing to work until you get a creamy emulsion.
To take out the balanced scent of this sauce, it is important that the processing takes place at room temperature and in the shortest possible time.
This is to prevent the basil leaves from heating and releasing a bitter taste that would compromise all the job done.
If using a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated.
Season with fresh ground black pepper to taste.
I recommend cooling the bowl and the blades in the fridge at least an hour before. Do not blend too long and at high speeds the ingredients to avoid overheating the sauce, which would lose much of its color and aroma.
When you dress the pasta with fresh basil pesto do not heat it in a pan, just place it in a large bowl add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to make it more fluid, then add the pasta and toss well.
If you are not going to immediately use the pesto sauce: put it in a glass container provided with a lid. Cover the pesto with extra virgin olive oil, close tightly and refrigerate.
Fresh Basil Pesto - Pesto alla Genovese
- 60 - 70 gr. Fresh Basil leaves
- 45 -55 gr. Grated Parmesan cheese or Grana Padano
- 20 gr. Grated aged Pecorino cheese
- 60 gr Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 - 2 clove Garlic
- 30 gr. Pine Nuts
- 10 gr. Coarse Sea Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Place the bowl and the blades in the fridge at least an hour before. Wash a dry well the basil leaves.
- Place Basil leaves and peeled garlic in a food processor bowl.
- Add the pine nuts.
- Blend at low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the cheeses and blend for another 30 seconds.
- Then add half of the extra virgin olive oil.
- Blend at low speed, and gradually add the remaining oil until a smooth cream and well blended.