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The classic approach to making pesto was invariably made by hand using a mortar and pestle. The name implies the act of using the pestle.  Modernization has given us the blender an food processor, which invariably has even reached certain kitchens in Liguria. Handmade pesto continues to yield a brighter, 'better' pesto because the ingredients have been worked less, but blender pesto is fine as long as you use the finest, freshest ingredients available.   When we make a pasta pesto we love to sprinkle the top with diced, baby tomatoes.  


  • 1/2 cup pure oil or extra virgin olive oil from Liguria
  • 1/2 cup Italian pine nuts
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 3 cups Genovese basil
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino cheese


  1. Put oil, garlic, and pine nuts in a blender. Process until the mixture becomes a white cream.
  2. Wash the basil and pat dry. Leave some water droplets clinging to leaves. Add to the mixture in the blender. Add the salt.
  3. Pulse the mixture until the basil is worked inside the white cream.
  4. Speed up the blender until the white cream turns light green. Do not let the blender get too hot or the cheese will melt when added.
  5. Add both cheeses and pulse until the cheese is fully incorporated inside the light green mixture.

Serving Suggestions: Perfect with fresh pasta. Great for bread dipping on on sandwiches.