Genoese Pesto

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  • 1 hand with basil leaves
  • 100 ml of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • tablespoons pine buds
  • 100 g grated Parmesan cheese a little salt

Servings: 4

Preparation time: less than 30 minutes

HOW TO PREPARE Pesto Alla Genovese RECIPE:

Initially, this recipe is made in a mortar, but since I didn't have it, I made everything in the food processor and, in addition, it is made much faster: P. Put the ingredients, apart from the oil, in the food processor and blend everything until it becomes a paste. Remove the composition in a bowl, add the olive oil, little by little and mix until it becomes a creamy sauce. It can be eaten with pasta for a while or it can be kept in the refrigerator in a closed jar for a few days. Bon appetit!

Genoese pesto

This delicious sauce seems to have ancient origins, even from Roman times, being originally prepared from garlic, cheese and herbs and a poem attributed to Virgil describes his preparation. It was, of course, different from how we know him today. Variants similar to the current ones are found during the Middle Ages, where besides basil and cheese we find another ingredient: walnuts (today being replaced with pine seeds). It is a product that was born in the ranks of the simple world and has been over time an essential food for the inhabitants of today's Liguria region.

How many of us haven't tasted spaghetti with & bdquopesto alla genovese & rdquo? Few believe & hellip For Romanians living in Italy, I don't think this sauce needs any introduction. I suspect that even for those who stayed at home, spaghetti with this type of sauce is no longer unknown, considering that the supermarket shelves in Romania are full of Italian sauces.

And yet what I propose today is something special: a tasty recipe, simple to make, preserved in the culinary tradition of former housewives in the Liguria region, the place of origin of this specialty, a recipe that will surely be loved equally. both by pasta lovers but also by the curious. I didn't have to look too closely for the "ldquoideala" recipe of this sauce: my wife cooks one she knew from childhood from her grandparents.

I consider this sauce a special delicacy, characterized by color, flavor, but first of all a refined taste, far light years away from what industrial production offers us.

Ingredients needed for pesto alla genovese (for 6 people):

How to prepare Genoese pesto, procedure

It is true that we live immersed in technology, and that blenders, food processors, immersion blenders and Bimby are not lacking in our homes, but we are sorry to disappoint you by telling you that the real Genoese pesto is prepared by hand. With the mortar!

  • The mortar. It must be made of marble, while the pestle must be made of wood. Other ingredients will be patience and a minimum of elbow grease.
  • Basil must be dry and clean. If you need to wash it (as it certainly will), you will need to wash it and then leave it on a cloth to dry. Never leave with a wet basil!
  • First they are put in the mortar garlic and coarse salt and you start working until you get a cream
  • Only at this point are they added the pine nuts
  • When you have a nice cream, you start adding the basil little by little, with gentle rotating movements. This will promote the release of essential oils of basil. Do not slaughter the basil by slicing and pounding it, but perform gentle rotary movements to gently tear it.
  • Then add the cheeses and work again
  • Finally, add the oil flush and work again.
  • Your Genoese pesto is ready! If necessary, while cooking the pasta, add a tablespoon of cooking water.

Our Genoese pesto recipe

Calories per serving: 250 kcal per serving (excludes pasta)


  • 4 cups basil, cleaned and chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano , grated
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste


Chef’s tip: If you don’t have a pestle and mortar at home, you can use a food processor. We like a pesto that has a slightly rustic texture so be sure not to over grind.


  • Start by gently toasting the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat until they turn slightly brown in color and are fragrant. Keep them moving to prevent burning. In case that any get dark brown, be sure to remove them before adding to the basil as they will impart a burnt flavor to the pesto.
  • Put the basil, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, minced garlic clove and 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil to a pestle and mortar and grind until creamy
  • Add the pine nuts and grind until they start to break down and combine with the oil and basil mixture. You should have a creamy yet slightly chunky consistency.
  • Drizzle the remaining olive oil and continue to grind until you have a creamy paste. We recommend leaving it a little rustic as this will help it adhere to the pasta
  • The pesto is best eaten straight away, but can be kept in clean mason jars and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The Best Pesto alla Genovese (Classic Basil Pesto Sauce) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Using a mortar and pestle creates a luxurious sauce with a rich, deep flavor and a beautiful, silky texture that's superior to what a food processor can do.
  • Pecorino Fiore Sardo is a slightly milder sheep's-milk cheese, and creates a more balanced, less harsh pesto sauce.
  • Mild olive oil results in a more balanced, less aggressively spicy sauce.

This pesto sauce, through rounds and rounds of testing, has been honed to the perfect ratio, ingredients, and method. And, while a mortar and pestle requires a bit of work, the superior sauce it produces compared to a food processor cannot be argued with. This is the true, best pesto. Still, if you want to use a food processor, you will end up with a very good pesto using this ratio of ingredients. (Just pulse the garlic, salt, and pine nuts together first, then add the cheese and follow with the basil stir in the oil.)

Pistachio pesto

Sicily is famous for its sweet and very green pistachios. This is where the recipe for this pesto was born, which could not be simpler. It is perfect for hot summer days: it can refresh and saturate excellently.

What you need for pistachio pesto

How to prepare pistachio pesto

1. Mix the pistachio with the fresh lemon juice with a mixer. If the pistachio is fresh, you do not need to add olive oil. If it is drier, you can add a little oil - for a better consistency. Serve with pasta or cheese dip. Good appetite.

Knoblauch schälen und im Mörser mit etwas grobem Meersalz fein mahlen.

Knoblauch schälen und im Mörser mit etwas grobem Meersalz fein mahlen.

Basilikum waschen, trocken schütteln, Blätter abzupfen und zum Knoblauch in den Mörser geben. Alles solange mahlen bis das Pesto schön cremig ist.

Basilikum waschen, trocken schütteln, Blätter abzupfen und zum Knoblauch in den Mörser geben. Alles solange mahlen bis das Pesto schön cremig ist.

Pinienkerne zugeben und weiter mahlen. Käse und Olivenöl nach und nach zugeben. Alles solange mahlen bis das Pesto homogen und cremig ist.

Pinienkerne zugeben und weiter mahlen. Käse und Olivenöl nach und nach zugeben. Alles solange mahlen bis das Pesto homogen und cremig ist.

Genoese pesto

We learned to make pesto alla Genovese in its birthplace & mdashGenoa, Italy. It traditionally is made in a mortar and pestle of nothing more than basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, salt and olive oil, emphasis on the basil. We use a food processor for convenience but follow the tradition of processing ingredients separately to ensure we preserve the appropriate texture of each. Good quality cheese is essential for a rich, full-flavored pesto. Seek out true Italian Parmesan cheese, as well as pecorino Sardo, a sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia. If you can’t find pecorino Sardo, don’t use pecorino Romano, which is too strong. The best substitute is Manchego, a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese. To store pesto, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate for up to three days.


The name is the past participle of the Genoese verb plague (Italian: pestering), which means "to pound", "to crush", in reference to the original method of preparation: according to tradition, the ingredients are "crushed" or ground in a marble mortar through a circular motion of a wooden pestle. This same Latin root, through Old French, also gave rise to the English noun fish. [3]

Strictly speaking, pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding that is why the word is used for several pestos in Italy. Nonetheless, Genoese pesto ("Genoese pesto") remains the most popular pesto in Italy and the rest of the world. [4]

Pesto is thought to have two predecessors in ancient times, going back as far as the Roman age. The ancient Romans used to eat a similar paste called moretum, which was made by crushing garlic, salt, cheese, herbs, olive oil, and vinegar (and sometimes pine nuts) together. [1] [5] The use of this paste in the Roman cuisine is mentioned in the Appendix Vergiliana, an ancient collection of poems in which the author details the preparation of moretum. [5] During the Middle Ages, a popular sauce in the Genoan cuisine was Agli, which was basically a mash of garlic and walnuts, as garlic was a staple in the nutrition of Ligurians, especially for the seafarers. [1]

The introduction of basil, the main ingredient of modern pesto, occurred in more recent times and is first documented only in the mid-19th century, when gastronomist Giovanni Battista Ratto published his book La Cuciniera Genovese in 1863: [1]

"Take a clove of garlic, basil or, when that is lacking, marjoram and parsley, grated Dutch and Parmigiano cheese and mix them with pine nuts and crush it all together in a mortar with a little butter until reduced to a paste. Then dissolve it with good and abundant oil. Lasagne and Trofie are dressed with this mash, made more liquid by adding a little hot water without salt. " [6]

Although likely originating from and being domesticated in India, [7] basil took the firmest root in the regions of Liguria, Italy, and Provence, France. It was abundant in this part of Italy, though only when in season, which is why marjoram and parsley are suggested as alternatives when basil is lacking. [1] Ratto mentions Dutch cheese (Dutch cheese) instead of Pecorino Sardo since Northern European cheeses were actually common in Genoa at the time, thanks to the centuries-long commercial trades of the maritime republic. [1]

This recipe for Genoese pesto was often revised in the following years (a noted revision by Emanuele Rossi occurred in 1865, only a couple of years after Ratto's Cooking room), [8] and it shortly became a staple in the Ligurian culinary tradition, with each family often featuring its own pesto recipe (with slight differences to the traditional ingredients). [9] This is the main reason why pesto recipes often differ from each other.

In 1944, The New York Times mentioned an imported canned pesto paste. In 1946, Sunset magazine published a pesto recipe by Angelo Pellegrini. Pesto did not become popular in North America until the 1980s and 1990s. [10]

Pesto is traditionally prepared in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. First, garlic and pine nuts are placed in the mortar and reduced to a cream, [2] and then the washed and dried basil leaves are added with coarse salt and ground to a creamy consistency. Only then is a mix of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino added. To help incorporate the cheese a little extra-virgin olive oil is added. In a tight jar (or simply in an air-tight plastic container), covered by a layer of extra-virgin olive oil, pesto can last in the refrigerator up to a week, and can be frozen for later use. [11]

Accompaniments Edit

Pesto is commonly used on pasta, traditionally with mandilli de sæa ("silk handkerchiefs" in the Genoese dialect), [12] trofie or trenette. Potatoes and string beans are also traditionally added to the dish, boiled in the same pot in which the pasta has been cooked. [ citation needed ] Pasta, mixed with pesto, has become a well-known dish in many countries today, with countless recipes being posted online for "pasta with pesto".

It is used in Genovese minestrone. Outside of Italy, pesto is sometimes served with sliced ​​beef, tomatoes, and sliced ​​boiled potatoes.

Variations Edit

Pesto comes in a variety of recipes, some traditional and some modern, as the very noun pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding. [13]

The original Genoese pesto, the quintessential pesto recipe, is made with Genovese basil, coarse salt, garlic, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil (Taggiasco), European pine nuts (sometimes toasted) and a grated cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano and Pecorino Sardo or Pecorino Romano . [11] A proposal is under preparation by the Palatifini Association to have pesto alla genovese included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. [14] There is a biennial international Genovese Pesto al Mortaio competition in which 100 finalists use traditional mortars and pestles as well as the above ingredients which are then assessed by 30 local and international judges.

A slightly different version of this sauce exists in Provence, where it is known as pistou. In contrast to Genoese pesto, pistou is generally made with olive oil, basil and garlic only: while cheese may be added, usually no nuts are included in a traditional pistou because no pine trees grow there to provide the nuts. Pistou is used in the typical pistachio soup, a hearty vegetable soup with pistou flavor. The sauce did not originally contain basil, however instead, cheese and olive oil were the main constituents. [15]

Outside of Italy sometimes, almond, brazil, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut, or even peanuts are used instead of pine nuts, and sometimes coriander, dill, kale, mint, parsley, rocket, spinach, or wild garlic leaves are mixed in with the basil leaves. [15] It has been pointed out that any combination of flavorful leaves, oily nuts, hard cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon juice can produce a pesto-like condiment. [16]

Sicilian pesto, sometimes called red pesto (red pesto), is a sauce from Sicily similar to Genoese pesto but with the addition of tomato and almonds instead of pine nuts, and much less basil.

Calabrian pesto is a sauce from Calabria consisting of (grilled) bell peppers, black pepper and more these ingredients give it a distinctively spicy taste. [17]

Outside Italy, the household name pesto has been used for all sorts of cold sauces or dips, mostly without any of the original ingredients: coriander, dill, kale, mint, parsley, rocket, spinach, or wild garlic (instead of or in addition to basil), artichokes, black olives, green olives, lemon peel, lime peel, or mushrooms. [18] In more northern countries, ramson leaves are sometimes used instead of basil. [19] In the 19th century, Genovese immigrants to Argentina brought pesto recipes with them. A Peruvian variety, known as green noodles (meaning "green noodles", from Italian tagliarini), is slightly creamier, lacks pine nuts (because of their rarity and prohibitive cost in Peru), may use spinach and vegetable oil (in place of olive oil), and is sometimes served with roasted potatoes and sirloin steak. [ citation needed ]

Vegan variations of pesto can include mixes of fresh basil, pine nuts or other nuts, olive oil, and the addition of miso paste and nutritional yeast to provide additional flavor enhancement to the dish. [20]

For reasons of expense or availability, almond, brazil, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut, or even peanuts are sometimes substituted for the traditional pine nuts. Also, while the nuts are traditionally used as is, some recipes call for prior toasting or roasting. While not preferable, other culinary nuts may be used due to the taste disturbances that some people may experience after consuming pine nuts (see pine mouth). Many online recipes in English for pesto will also list black pepper or white pepper among the ingredients, [21] which the traditional Genoese recipe omits. [1] For reasons of expense, in pestos sold in supermarkets, the extra virgin olive oil is often replaced with cheaper oils such as, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, safflower oil, soya oil, sunflower oil, or other vegetable oils. Some manufacturers of pesto for European supermarkets also use filling material like potato flakes or potato starch which, however, also softens the traditionally strong flavor. Certain pesto recipes abroad replace basil or pine nuts with other herbs and greens such as:

Fried eggs in pesto

A delicious and spectacular breakfast in just 5 minutes? Try the recipe for Fried Pesto Eggs! It has millions of views on Tik Tok and it's no wonder, it's really wonderful!

Why can we fry eggs in pesto? Because the main ingredients in pesto are olive oil and basil! So we don't have to add oil anymore! We don't even need too many flavors, because pesto is flavored with a lot of basil and parmesan! Easier said than done for a wow breakfast?

You can use green pesto or pesto alla genovese, but also red pesto, based on dried tomatoes. Or a combination of both, why not? For extra taste, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan over hot eggs!

You can use chicken eggs or quail eggs, depending on your preferences! Pesto fried eggs go perfectly with toast!

All the ingredients needed for the Pesto Fried Eggs recipe are waiting for you in LIDL stores. On LIDL Kitchen you can find other delicious recipes! Click on each title below to access the recipe!

Ingredients for 2 servings of fried eggs in pesto

  • 2 tablespoons Genoese Baresa pesto
  • 10 quail eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Grana Padano Lovilio
  • chili flakes
  • salt and pepper

In the pan in which we normally prepare the omelet, put 2 tablespoons of pesto. Spread the pesto with a spoon so that it covers the whole pan. We put on the fire, over medium heat.

When the pesto heats up and bubbles begin to appear, we break the eggs in the pan, directly over the pesto. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes or until the egg whites are done.

Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes and sprinkle cheese on top. Serve hot, with slices of toast. May you be the best!

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