Be a kitchen hero with the best pesto recipe. Because this fresh basil recipe is so easy.
It is super easy, it is ridiculously easy and delicious. Let me show you how. Want to learn how to make the best pesto recipe? Let’s get started!
Everybody knows pesto right? That green sharp flavorsome sauce that is made with limited ingredients and is easy to make.
You may think that it is just a simple sauce. But I have news for you because flavor wise pesto is all but a simple sauce. Pesto can be best describes as a combination of:
- Flavourful leaves like basil or arugula,
- Nuts like pine nuts or walnuts,
- Hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano, grana padana, pecorino romano or pecorino sardo but also Dutch hard cheese like old Amsterdam,
- Olive oil,
- Salt and pepper
Combine them and you get pesto. The garlic and nuts give the sauce a strong flavor that is balanced by the basil. If you use arugula you need fewer nuts because arugula already has a nutty flavor.
The original recipe for pesto calls for a pestle and mortar but you can make this recipe with a food processor as well.
If you have time go for the pestle and mortar version. It will be creamier and softer because the garlic is less sharp when crushed in the mortar.
Basil pesto ingredients
To make the best basil pesto you just need 5 ingredients really. With two that are optional:
- Pine nuts
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
How to make basil pesto
To make this recipe start out with toasting the pine nuts. I find that it adds to the flavor even though you can use nontoasted pine nuts as well.
Just warm a small skillet and add the pine nuts. Keep the pine nuts moving as they burn easily. When they have some color on the pine nuts set them aside and let them cool.
Take the hard cheese, in this recipe the Parmigiano Reggiano and finely grate it and set aside. Below you can find two ways to make the best pesto recipe.
The food processor is, by all means, the easiest way to make basil pesto. Start by adding the toasted pine nuts in the food processor.
Then add 3 hands of basil to the food processor. Then the garlic and the grated cheese. First, pulse the food processor and combine the pesto.
Then add two tablespoons of olive oil and run the food processor for a minute. Now add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and let the food processor run for another minute.
Add some salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Pestle and mortar
Start by crushing the garlic into a smooth paste. Then add a small number of pine nuts and crunch it together with the garlic.
Keep on crushing the pine nuts into the garlic paste until all the nuts are paste. Then it is time to add small amounts of basil together with some salt.
Wash the basil before you add it into the mortar. Crush and roll the basil. When all the basil is crushed you can add the grated cheese and stir it into the basil.
Finally, you can stir in the olive oil in a slow stream. Keep until stirring until smooth. Ready to serve.
There are a number of way to make easy pesto. From traditional to modern and back. Here some a list of pesto variations:
- Pesto alla genovese – this is the original recipe from Genova and described in this recipe. You can choose between various cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, grana padana, pecorino romano or pecorino sardo which are all strong salty cheeses.
- Pistou – this version is made in Provence and consists of three ingredients only basil, garlic and olive oil. No nuts and no cheese.
- Pesto alla Calabrese – originally from Calabria and made with bell peppers, chili pepper, oregano, and three cheeses-Ricotta, Pecorino Romano, Parmiggiano Reggiano.
- Pesto alla Siciliana – is the red version of pesto also know as pesto rosso and made with tomato. This recipe is originally from Sicily and similar to pesto alla genovese. The difference is that in this recipe less basis is used, tomatoes are added and almonds instead of pine nuts.
- Tallarines verdes – is the Argentinan version of pesto that was introduced by Genovese immigrants that traveled to Argentina. This recipe is a little creamier, does not contain pine nuts as they are not widely available in Argentina and spinach instead of basil.
- Pesto alla arugula – also know as vegan pesto is made with fresh basil, nuts (walnut or pine nut) and olive oil. To substitute the cheese in this recipe include nutritional yeast to provide additional.
What to eat basil pesto with
You can add this pesto to a lot of recipes. Here some examples of recipes that you can use with pesto:
- Turkish pide bread – you can add some pesto to the dough or eat it pesto bread with pesto
- Pull apart bread – in this recipe, you can substitute the tapenade for pesto
- Taco pasta – add a tablespoon of pesto to the meat sauce
- Turkish pide bread pizza – put some pesto on the tomato sauce and top with your favorite toppings.
- Flatbread crackers – eat these crunchy crackers with the best pesto recipe
See how you can make the best pesto recipe
Want to see how you can make the best pesto recipe? Watch the instruction video below to follow along:
Have fun with the best pesto recipe!
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The best pesto recipe is this pesto alla genovese with classic ingredients like basil, hard cheese, garlic and pine nuts. Try this easy pesto recipe.
- 3 hands full of basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 30 gram pine nuts
- 30 gram Parmigiano Reggiano
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Warm a skillet and toast the pine nuts until light brown. Set aside
- Add the toasted pine nuts in the food processor. Then add 3 hands of basil to the foodprocessor, garlic and the grated cheese
- Pulse the foodprocessor and combine the pesto
- Then add two tablespoons of olive oil and run the foodprocessor for a minute
- Add another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and let the the foodprocessor run for another minute
- Add some salt and pepper to taste
- Ready to serve
Calories: 145; Fat: 14.4g; Carbs: 1.7g; Protein: 4.4g;