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Pasta with Pesto Genovese


Today we are talking about one of the most famous dishes of Italian cuisine, Pesto Genovese.

Genova is the capital of Liguria, a region in the northwest of Italy, bordering with Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.

But how is authentic Pesto Genovese prepared?

Ingredients for four people:

  • Four bunches of basil, if the leaves are small, is better, because they will be more tender and less bitter (70 g leaves);
  • 60 g of Parmesan Cheese if is 28 month is better
  • 40 g of Sardinian Pecorino
  • 60 cc of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 10 g of salt;
  • 30 g of pine nuts
  • One small garlic clove


Wash the basil leaves and dry them with a tea towel.

Next, place the garlic in a marble mortar with a few grains of salt and begin to pound it with a wooden pestle.

Add the pine nuts and pound again, obtaining a rather coarse mush.

Add the basil leaves while continuing to pound gently, then add the Parmesan Cheese an the Sardinian Pecorino and mix everything together.

Soften the mixture by slowly pouring in the extra virgin olive oil until the mixture is smooth, creamy and of good consistency.

Now our pesto is ready to be served.

It is very important to avoid using a blender because the steel blades and the heat alter the taste and flavor of the basil leaves making it very bitter.

Now our Pesto Genovese is ready to be served.

Is the time to boil the pasta that we have chosen, when the pasta is ready, mix in the pan our Pesto Genovese with the pasta, serve with some drops of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.

Before seasoning the pasta, the Pesto Genovese can be slightly diluted with the cooking water of the pasta in order to make it lighter and creamier.

You can use various types of pasta for Pesto Genovese, but the perfect pasta is trofie, called in this way because of its rolled shape, or testaroli, another typical Ligurian pasta but not from Genoa.

The popular recipe, of Pasta with Pesto Genovese the grandmother’s one, is prepared by boiling the pasta, (Trofie are better) together with some potatoes cut in big pieces and green beans and then mix in the pan with Pesto Genovese … as for all grandmother’s recipes it is necessary to be very hungry.

Photo by Alice Pasqual