Traditionally, pesto is made in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle but any type of pestle and mortar will do the job. Alternatively, if you do not have a pestle and mortar, you can gently pulse the ingredients in a food processor.
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 40g pine nuts
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- 40g grated Parmesan cheese
- 50g basil leaves, chopped
- 150ml light, mild olive oil
- Using a pestle and mortar, first pound the garlic, pine nuts and salt until they are creamy in appearance.
- Gradually add the chopped basil leaves, grinding them against the sides of the mortar until all are combined.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and then gradually stir in the olive oil.
As this is fresh pesto is differs from pesto you buy in jars and needs to be used up as soon as possible. Because of the oil it will keep, covered, for two to three days in the fridge.
The basil grown in Genoa has larger leaves and is more perfumed than that grown elsewhere. Consequently, we have adapted this recipe by using a larger quantity of leaves than would normally be used in Liguria.
Ligurian olive oil is lighter and milder than that from the rest of Italy so make sure you don't use a heavy, aromatic variety.
For vegetarians you can substitute the Parmesan cheese for a good quality, hard pecorino cheese.
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