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(Experiment 136) Pesto alla Genovese

Traditionally Pesto alla Genovese is done using a mortle by hand. Given that both my wrist are crap we will ditch the mortle and use our friend the food processor. This recipe is very simple to do, packed with flavor but does require you to use quality ingredients. Do not cheap out and use inferior quality products, it just won’t taste as good.

Right now my basil is like a small bush so it’s the perfect timing to eat pesto and as the leftovers freeze easily, make some provision for the long winter months.

A quick tip: freeze them in an ice cube tray, transfer them into a Ziploc bag, and just take a few at a time when needed.

You need

  • ~50 basil leaves
  • 5 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 4 tbsp grated pecorino
  • 30g pine nut
  • 100ml extra virgin oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • pinch sea salt


  1. Wash the basil leaves in cold water with an ice cube
  2. Dry the leaves on a dry clean dishcloth, you want to ensure they are dry before putting them in the food processor.
  3. (optional) While you wait, toast the pine nut in a pan over medium heat with NO oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes to get a slightly golden colour. Reserve. Toasting the pine nut gives a richer taste to the pesto.
  4. Combine the leaves, pine nuts, cheeses, and salt in the food processor bowl. Blend for 30 seconds or so
  5. Add the olive oil and blend using the pulse function. Heat will kill the flavour. Only pulse for a few seconds and stop. Repeat until you have a smooth consistency
  6. If it’s too dry, add some more olive oil

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1 Comment

  1. pearlytiare May 9, 2023

    I was such a picky eater as a kid but I would have loved this

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