How to make Pesto Genovese?

Pesto is the Italian word for mashing, so that immediately explains how to make it traditionally. An original pesto is made in a mortar and not in a food processor. Originally delicious with pasta pesto, but also with so many more recipes!

Ingredienten voor Pesto Genovese
Ingredients for Pesto Genovese

Give it a try and you will be immediately convinced by the difference between a coarse, fragrant and pounded variety and the thick paste from the food processor. Even though the most famous Italian chef swears by a pesto from the food processor and even adds cold water to prevent oxidation.

Let’s also explain genovese right away, which means “In the way of Genoa”, the capital of the Liguria region where basil grows a lot.

Zelf Pesto Genovese maken
Crush until an emulsion starts to form

If you choose a traditional pesto genovese, you will of course use pine nuts. These exclusive pine cone seeds are often quite expensive. So feel free to try other nuts and seeds, such as walnut, almond, pumpkin seed or even cashew nut. Each type will give your pesto its own taste.

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Make your own pesto genovese

A delicious traditional pesto genovese.
Prep time15 minutes
Servings: 1 jar
Author: Cultiviz


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40 gr pine nuts roasted
  • 50 gr basil leaves weighed after picking
  • 75 gr Parmesan cheese and/or pecorino cheese, grated
  • 100 ml olive oil premium
  • black pepper freshly grounded
  • sea salt coarse


  • Peel the cloves of garlic, chop coarsely and put in a mortar with some coarse sea salt. Rub and mash into a nice paste, then add the toasted pine nuts.
  • Rub and stamp gently until the oil begins to release and some sort of paste forms.
  • Add the picked basil leaves and crush them firmly until an emulsion starts to form. Please take some time for this.
  • Add the freshly grated cheese, mix briefly and then add the olive oil. Stir well and season with sea salt and freshly grounded pepper.
  • Place in a clean jar and drizzle with olive oil.
  • As long as the pesto is kept under a layer of olive oil in the fridge, it can be used in general. Always use a clean spoon!

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