Best Italian pesto ever

Pesto originates from Genoa, which is located in Liguria, a northern region of Italy. It dates back to the 16th century and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts blended with Parmesan cheese and olive oil. This simple and genuine raw sauce has no secret!


  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, preferably a delicate red-skinned variety, peeled
  • 2 bunches sweet basil, leaves picked, thick stems removed (2 packed cups
  • 6-8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1⁄4 cup Pecorino cheese (Pecorino Sardo)


  1. In a large mortar, add the pine nuts, salt, and garlic cloves. Using a large pestle, pound and scrape the ingredients into a very smooth paste, 5–7 minutes.
  2. Add the basil in small amounts, working it into the mixture after each addition, until all the basil has been added and the mixture is smooth and creamy, 15–20 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the oil while stirring with the pestle until emulsified.
  4. Add both cheeses and stir with the pestle to incorporate.

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