The Best Pesto Genovese

This is the official recipe for the one and only Pesto Genovese. We learned this recipe from The Pesto King himself, Roberto Panizza, who created the World Pesto Championship. He’s the guy who makes our unparalleled fresh Pesto Genovese, the ready-to-eat version. Roberto believes that Pesto Genovese is not an exact science, you can adjust the quantities to your taste. The secret for the best Pesto Genovese according to Roberto? Using mortar and pestle! That’s actually where the word pesto comes from.

Ingredients

SERVES: About 1 cup of pesto
TIME: 30 minutes

Basil leaves, washed and pat dried (65 g/2.2 oz)
Italian Pine Nuts (30 g/1 oz)
Vacche Rosse Cheese, grated or in chunks (40 g/ 1.4 oz)
Fiore Sardo (aka Pecorino Sardo), grated or in chunks (20 g/ 0.7oz)
Garlic, 1 clove
Coarse Sea Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 5 tablespoons

Preparation

  1. Place the garlic in the mortar and mash it to a creamy consistency.
  2. Add the pine nuts and crush them until you reach a paste.
  3. Add basil leaves and sea salt, without completely filling the mortar. Do it in more batches, if necessary.
  4. Press the basil leaves moving the pestle up and down. Once they are coarsely mashed, start moving the pestle in circles around the mortar sides. If needed, use a spoon to rub basil leaves off the mortar sides.
  5. When you reach a creamy and uniform texture, add both types of cheese.
  6. Pour the EVOO slowly, mixing it with the spoon to blend all the ingredients together and create an emulsified sauce. Give a final mix with the pestle.
  7. The process should take the shortest time possible, to avoid oxidation.