Average: 5 (2 votes)
Active time
15 minutes
Total time
15 minutes
6 servings

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

¾ teaspoon coarse salt 

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

⅓ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

⅓ cup freshly grated Pecorino Sardo cheese

½ cup extra virgin olive oil (preferably Ligurian)


The traditional preparation method of Genovese pesto requires the ingredients to be ground in a large marble mortar with a wooden pestle: 

  1. Mash the garlic with the salt until combined. Add the basil leaves, and continue to mash until a thick paste forms.
  2. Add each of the following ingredients one at a time, mashing until well-combined after each addition: pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, then Pecorino Sardo. 
  3. Mix in extra virgin olive oil. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary. Traditional pastas to serve with pesto include trofie, lasagnette, or trenette, but it tastes great with most pastas. 

Alternatively, all of the ingredients can be combined in a food processor or blender. However, the taste and texture won’t be quite as delicious.


Recipe courtesy of La Brinca restaurant in Ne, Italy. Photo: istockphoto.com.


Calories: 270
Total Fat: 28g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Sodium: 330mg
Carbohydrate: 2g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 6g

Yield: 6 servings

How'd it Taste?

What a wonderful and flavorful recipe. Will be number one for pesto. Thanks!
Cynthia Ann
Love the recipe! I actually put 4 cloves garlic in my recipe. I also one time did not have the Sardo cheese. Still was great which I mainly love over whole wheat pasta. It's the best!
Yum! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for sharing!

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