Since winter is coming our basil plant was dying, so we decided to remove all the leaves and make lots of pesto. We’ve eaten a bit immediately and stored the rest in a jar. It should keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge or you can also freeze it. In the UK people seem to make pesto in a lot of unconventional ways, but in Italy if one speaks about pesto, 99% of the times he refers to pesto alla genovese. Pesto alla genovese originates from Genova, this is the traditional recipe, with nothing more and nothing less.
The traditional way of doing pesto is using a mortal and pestle, unfortunately we do not have one (here’s a suggestion for a present) so we used a modern hand blender.
PESTO ALLA GENOVESE
Five or six large handfuls of fresh Basil (approximately 50 g)
100 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano
2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
1 big garlic clove
50 g pinenuts
Wash and dry the basils leaves and put them in the hand blender bowl. Chop the garlic clove and add it to the basil. Using the hand blender, blend the mixture for a few seconds, then add the pinenuts. The pinenuts add softness to the sauce and give a pleasant sweetness that contrasts with the garlic. Blend for a few more seconds and then add the cheese: parmigiano reggiano and pecorino. Blend until the mixture is uniform but not smooth. Finally add the oil and mix using a wooden spoon. It is important that you only add the extra virgin olive oil at the end to get the right texture.
Now the pesto is ready and you can use it with spaghetti, penne or any kind of pasta, although traditionally it should go with trofie a special pasta from Liguria. Perhaps soon we’ll try to make them.