There are many types of PESTO, but without any doubt the Genovese Pesto , the one made with basil, is the most famous and known around the globe. The original Genovese Pesto sauce is made with only 7 ingredients and the recipe recalls for a marble mortar with a wooden olive tree pestle to work the ingredients. Although it would be to avoid the use of the blender because the blades of steel and the heat could alter the taste, I used a hand blender following a couple of good tricks: – to prevent the overheating, blend the ingredients at the lowest speed possible and intermittently (blend for a few seconds then stop and start again). – Put the bowl and the blades (if using a regular blender) in the fridge for an hour before use. The colder, the better. The Genovese Pesto sauce is the perfect “companion” for trofie, trenette, lasagne and gnocchi. Pair the dish tossed with this delicious sauce with a Colli Di Luni Vermentino DOC white wine. The following recipe has been adapted from “Dining in Genoa”, by M&R Comunicazione, available at the Tourist Information Offices in the city of Genoa (Italy). Buon Appetito!!! Pesto_BLAD blog - 06 copy Pesto_BLAD blog - 16 copy Pesto_BLAD blog - 18 copy Pesto_BLAD blog - 23 copy

Photo by Ale Gambini –


  • 60 gr of genovese basil PDO
  • 45-60 g of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, freshly grated
  • 20-40 g of Sardinian pecorino cheese
  • 60-80 cc of Extra Virgin Olive Oil PDO from Liguria
  • 10 g of coarse sea salt
  • 30 g of pine nuts (from Pisa or the Mediterranean)
  • One or two cloves of garlic (Vessalico garlic).


Wash the basil leaves, which must be soft and come from plants no more than 2 months old. Dry them carefully on a paper towel. Place the garlic into a medium bowl along with a few grains of coarse sea salt and “crush” with the blender. Add the pine nuts and continue to crush until you get a coarse pulp. Add the basil leaves and continue to crush gently, then add the cheese and mix everything together. Soften the mixture by adding olive oil, little by little, until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Add the rest of the oil and mix using a wooden spoon.

4 thoughts on “Quick Genovese Pesto Sauce

    1. The walnut sauce sounds great!!! The word pesto means “to crush” so you can made pesto sauce with any kind of nuts (hazelnuts or pistachios) or arugula or eggplants….but there is only one authentic pesto from the city of Genoa, the one made with the king of herbs : the basil 😉

  1. I recently started making pesto with an immersion blender and it works amazingly well! I am aware of the fact that traditionally I should have use a mortar (some don’t even call this pesto, jokingly they call it “frullo”), but in my opinion the end result is sooo close! Much closer than anything that you can buy in a jar 🙂

    Congratulations on your Cannolo Award, BTW! Much deserved 🙂

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