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:
- Mash the garlic with the salt until combined. Add the basil leaves, and continue to mash until a thick paste forms.
- Add each of the following ingredients one at a time, mashing until well-combined after each addition: pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, then Pecorino Sardo.
- 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.