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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
3 bundles basil
40 g pine nuts (cedar nuts)
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, large
50 g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
30 g Pecorino Romano cheese
½ tsp salt
For serving:
1 tsp lemon juice
45 g butter if served with pasta
Classic Pesto Sauce

Classic Pesto Sauce

Features:
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegetarian
Cuisine:
  • 5
  • Serves 8
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • 3 bundles basil

  • 40 g pine nuts (cedar nuts)

  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, large

  • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 30 g Pecorino Romano cheese

  • ½ tsp salt

  • For serving:

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 45 g butter if served with pasta

Directions

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Pesto sauce is wonderful – fragrant, fresh and herby. I absolutely love it, especially as-prepared since its unique taste and flavor.

Do you know why it’s called “pesto”? It originates from the word “pestare” that means the process of crushing in a mortar with a pestle. The birthplace of the sauce is Genoa (Italy) where it was invented in order to release as much fragrance as possible out of basil leaves.

A classic recipe for pesto sauce includes only fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, Parmesano Reggiano and pecorino Romano, salt. The Italians believe that if some other ingredients are added or if they replace the original ones, it is not pesto anymore!

Pesto sauce is considered to be Italian cultural asset that is why a classic recipe for it is registered in the Italian Culinary Academy (Accademia Italiana della Cucina).

Pesto is known to be the most popular pasta sauce. Basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and coarse sea salt used to be crushed in a large stone mortar with a pestle until pastelike. The original recipe states the following: “…you will need a large stone mortar and an olive wood pestle. Never wash it, just wipe it clean…”. Nowadays it is much convenient to use a food processor or blender.

The ingredient proportions given in this recipe are specified according to the officially adopted by the Italian Culinary Academy recipe – the most classic recipe.

Enjoy!

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Steps

1
Done

Place basil into cold water and wash. Shake off the excess water and pat dry with paper towels. Pick the leaves off. You may also save the stems – dried basil stems can be added to soups or roast meat.

2
Done

Peel and coarsely chop the garlic.

3
Done

Into a food processor, place the basil, chopped garlic, nuts, olive oil and salt. Process until you get a smooth and creamy consistency.

4
Done

Finely grate the cheese.

5
Done

Transfer the sauce to a bowl, add the grated cheese and mix until smooth with a spoon. It is important to mix the cheese up by hand in order to save the fluffy consistency.

How to serve:

If you serve the sauce with pasta, add some softened butter to it. Boil the pasta, then add pesto sauce and a few tablespoons of the pasta water. You may also add a few lemon juice drops. Mix and serve.

The sauce is also served with vegetables or added to soups.

How to keep:

Can be kept refrigerated in a tightly closed container. It can also be frozen without cheese added. Defrost before consuming, add some grated cheese.

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