Genoese Pesto

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    1 quart

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Genoese pesto is not only wonderful over pasta but makes an excellent sauce for grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. It can also be stirred into soups at the last minute.


basil leaves 1 lb 500 g
garlic cloves, peeled 5 5
toasted pine nuts 3 tbsp 45 ml
coarse salt 1 tsp 5 ml
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano 8 oz 250 g
extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup 250 ml


  1. Wash the basil leaves and make sure they are well dried. (If they are wet, some of their pungent flavor will be lost.)
  2. Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a mortar or food processor. If not all the basil fits, it may be necessary to start grinding and add it a bit at a time. Work or pulse the mixture to a coarse paste. If using a food processor, scrape the paste into a mixing bowl.
  3. Gently work in the olive oil with a pestle or wooden spoon.