How to make green Pesto Genovese

Homemade Pesto alla Genovese  

Homemade Pesto alla Genovese  

It's very easy when you have a food processor at home that mixes your ingredients into a delicious pesto sauce in just a few seconds. Else you can use a mortar. 


  • 200 gr fresh basil
  • 100 gr pine nuts (pinoli)
  • 30 gr Parmesan cheese 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil (cold pressed extra virgin) 
  • salt (3-4 pinch)

This amount of ingredients resulted in about 300 gr of fresh basil pesto sauce and could be stored in 2-3 glass containers. 300 gr pesto could be served with 500 gr pasta and make up to 5-6 servings.  

How to:

- Cook water in a pot with salt. 

- Clean the basil leaves by washing. Shortly blanch the the basil in boiling water. This is the "secret" to keep the leaves green (after the blending) and take away a bit of the bitterness.

- Take the leaves out and dry them on kitchen paper.

- In the meantime grate Parmesan cheese and peal the garlic.

- Then throw half of the ingredients in the food processor (to reduce the volume), add some olive oil. Later add the rest. Taste the pesto to add ingredients up to your taste.

How to serve: If you serve pasta with pesto alla Genevese boil a medium size potatoe (cut into small cubes) in the pasta water. Before pouring out the water, use one ladle of the cooking water to add into the sauce.Then add the pasta. Add more parmesan cheese on top of each serving, decorate with a basil leave and some pine nuts. Bon appetito!

More Tips:

  • While mixing the ingredients taste the pesto and adjust it to your taste. You can use less garlic (but at least 1 clove for the spice), you can use more Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, more salt, more pines, more oil. The sauce might become less green though.
  • If you don't use the pesto right away, store it in a glass jar and top the surface entirely with olive oil.
  • You can easily cover the surface with olive oil and freeze the glass jar up to a couple of months. 
  • Don't make the mistake and serve spaghetti with pesto - it's the wrong pasta! Classic Italian style is to serve linguine with pesto! Or another flat pasta (bavette, fettuccine).   

Today, I saw that some branches of my basil bush on the balcony had become to heavy and broke (or was it the cat?). It was time to process the beautiful basil to a pesto sauce. I had already stocked up pine nuts for that reason. - In the evening my son declared that I am smelling deliciously from pesto. His favorite sauce at the moment and he ordered pasta with pesto sauce for dinner. It was so yummy and we were so hungry that I almost forgot to take a picture. :-)

Linguine con Pesto alla Genonvese

Linguine con Pesto alla Genonvese


Bon appetito!