Pesto all Genovese

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Carol saw a big tub of basil at the supermarket yesterday and decided she wanted to make pesto.  I consulted the recipe in Serious Eats, and then modified it for what I actually had on hand.  I have noted below both what I actually did and what Serious Eats recommended.  A batch made enough pesto to sauce a pound of spaghetti.


2 large cloves garlic

Sea Salt

2 Tbs. almonds (normally pine nuts)

3 oz. basil, leaves only

1.5 oz. grated parmesan (or .75 oz. grated parmesan and .75 oz. Pecorino Fiore Sardo)

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

If available, prepare the pesto with a mortar and pestle, since the crushing action better releases the flavors from the ingredients.  If a mortar and pestle is not available, a food processor can be used.  I did not achieve full emulsification of the pesto in the mortar, so I finished it with an immersion blender.

In the mortar, crush the garlic and salt into a paste.  Add the nuts, and crush until they are incorporated into the paste.  Add the basil leaves in batches, crushing and pounding each batch before adding the next, until all the basil is in fine bits.  Add the cheese and mix in.  Slowly add the olive oil working it with the pestle until it emulsifies into the sauce.  If necessary, move the partially emulsified pesto into an immersion blender, and blend until fully emulsified.


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