And that, is Pesto alla Genovese, the classic, traditional “condimento” from Liguria.
What you’ll need:
Ingredients & Procedure
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fine extra virgin olive oil
1 raw garlic clove
6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
6 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
1 6oz. jar toasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Toast nuts in frying pan for about 1 minute, until they begin to brown and then combine with the remaining ingredients in your food processor. Pulse all ingredients until they are finely chopped and combine to form a paste. (that’s what pesto means!) The mixture will be very thick at this point. Transfer to a bowl and cover with Saran wrap. This can be made up to 4 or 5 hours in advance and refrigerated.
Cook pasta until al dente. Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Whisk this into your pesto to thin out the paste, combine with your pasta and serve. The Ligurians will also occasionally toss blanched green beans and/or boiled potatoes into the sauce to serve over the pasta. Garnish with basil leaves and extra cheese.