Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto alla Genovese

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Makes
1 1/2 cups
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

Pesto sauce was created by the Genovese of Italy’s north to serve with all kinds of pasta and gnocchi, but is now eaten all over the western world. It is added to soups, especially thick vegetable ones, smeared on bruschetta or toasts for quick appetisers or canapés, and even drizzled over meats.

Traditionally, pesto is made with basil leaves, but a greener and lighter version can be made by replacing some or all of the basil leaves with parsley or mint. Today it is even made with rocket or coriander and the traditional pine nuts are often replaced with walnuts or pistachios.

It’s worthwhile having a jar of it in the fridge to transform everyday foods into something special. Remember to keep it covered with a film of oil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups basil leaves
2 cups flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Method

  1. Place the garlic, herbs, pine nuts, parmesan, salt and pepper in a food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until finely chopped. With the motor still running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream and process to a smooth paste, similar in consistency to mayonnaise.
  2. Spoon into jars, covering with a thin film of oil before topping with a lid. Keep in the refrigerator.
  3. Mint pesto

    Make as for pesto alla Genovese, substituting 2 cups of mint leaves for the basil and add an extra cup of flat-leaf parsley.
  4. Rocket and walnut pesto

    Make as for pesto alla Genovese, substituting rocket leaves for the basil and chopped walnuts for the pine nuts.
  5. Pistachio pesto

    Make as for pesto alla Genovese, replacing the pine nuts with pistachio nuts, which have been blanched in hot water for 2 minutes, drained, then rubbed briskly to remove skins.
Tags:
Margaret
Fulton
Favourites
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