RSS Feed

Genoese Basil Sauce/Pesto

All the ingredients you need to make pesto!

All the ingredients you need to make pesto!


IMG_7265

Take a stem of leaves in one hand and wipe the leaves with the other using a damp paper towel


IMG_7275

Add to the food processor the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and olive oil


IMG_7271

Pureed ingredients before adding the cheese. You can freeze the sauce at this point and add the cheeses at a later date when you are ready to serve the Pesto.


IMG_7282

Pour the pureed mixture into a mixing bowl


IMG_7285

Add the Parmesan and Romano cheeses


IMG_7289

Pesto ready for freezing in the ice cube trays and mini muffin tins. When frozen, pop them out and store in Ziploc freezer bags or cartons in the freezer

Pesto ready for the frig!

Pesto ready for the frig!

Dave’s basil was bountiful this year. He filled two large garden pots with 4 plants each. The leaves were not huge and since the plant was beginning to flower, I cut it all down and made five batches of pesto today. That’s about 20 cups of fresh basil leaves!

I have two other Pesto recipes posted on my blog. Today’s recipe is closest to the traditional Genoese Basil Sauce. Genoa is the city where Pesto originates. Christopher Columbus was Genovese and he carried pesto on his ships to the New World, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. I wonder why I remember all this?

This recipe is to be made in a standard size food processor. It is an adaption of Marcella Hazan’s from her cookbook, The Classical Italian Cookbook. A well-rounded pesto is never made with all Parmesan or all Romano. Marcella and I use 4 parts Parmesan to 1 part Romano in this recipe.

4 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly wiping the leaves with a damp paper towel to clean. Basil does not like to be wet and will brown quickly. I grab a stalk with one hand and then with a damp paper towel wipe the leaves. Then gently tear leaves into two or more small pieces. Be careful not to crush the basil. The purpose is to make fairly even sized pieces for uniform measuring. I prefer the traditional green leaf basil. It makes a nice bright green pesto. The purple basil produces a darker brown-green pesto.

1 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with a heavy knife and peeled (don’t over do the garlic; a very large clove counts as 2 cloves)

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1/4 cup pine nuts, (about 1-1.5 ounces)

1/4 cup freshly grated Locatelli brand Romano cheese (other brands are fine, but this is my favorite)

1 cup (about 1/4 pound) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a food processor place the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves and salt. Process with the knife blade till well blended. Do not overprocess or allow the basil to heat up. Scrape the sides of the bowl during processing.

Pour the sauce into a medium size bowl and stir in the cheeses. Freeze pesto in ice cube trays  or tiny muffin tins and when frozen, place the cubes in a freezer carton or bag for storage in the freezer. You can also store the pesto in a jar in the refrigerator by keeping a layer of olive oil on the surface and covering with a lid. Presto! Serve with pasta as the original recipe. Use as a spread on tomatoes and fresh mozzarella or sandwiches and bruschetta. Add as a flavoring to soups, sauces and stews. Use as a marinade for chicken.

OPTIONAL: Instead of freezing with the cheese, omit the cheese and add it instead after thawing the cubes. This will give a fresher flavor, but is another step in your preparations.

Advertisements

4 responses »

  1. from our good friends near Milano! He is right, we did buy a Ligurian mortar and pestle…have not used it yet! Maybe next time Nina?

    Hi Dave and Nina,
    Congratulation for your excited activity (blog) in in the kitchen.
    We have appreciated the recipe how to prepare the Genoes pesto.
    In my family this preparation of the pesto has been done at the beginning of July since we always have a large quantity of fresh balisicum during that period. This year we have prepared hundred small can we have distributed to the children and friends and several stored in the refrigerator ready to be used for one year.
    One remark concerning the pesto preparation. The best way is to use a marble mortar to mill the leavers with the other ingredients. Not the food processor since with this tool the flagrance is destroyed. Of course with the mortar more efforts are requested, but the test is much better.
    If I remember well, in one of your first visit in Italy you bought an heavy mortar. Do you use it in your kitchen?
    During the next meeting we can check which is the best pesto done by Frurip or by XXXXX family.
    best regards.

    Marino and Giovanna

    Reply
    • I know I need to make pesto from my Carrara marble mortar and wood pestle. We bought it in Vernazza, a small beach town near Genoa. It is much more time consuming, though I know it is more flavorful. Next time. Giovanna and Marino continue to inspire me šŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Mmmmm this sounds like a great pesto recipe! I need to make this! šŸ™‚ My mom (Valerie Wesseling) told me about your cooking blog which I’ll add to my blog feed! šŸ™‚ Fun blog! Thanks Nina! šŸ™‚ – Rachel (Wesseling) Jackson

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: