When we talk about Pesto Sauce, there is no need for presentations, we know what we are dealing with. It is different when you want to prepare it at home because transforming the basil leaf and the other ingredients is a real art. To get a good pesto you need, in addition to the first quality ingredients, small tricks.

Pesto sauce

Let’s see what these “small” secrets are:

  • Basil must necessarily be Ligurian, with narrow leaves, to prevent your pesto from smelling of mint, typical of other types of basil.
  • The leaves should not be washed but cleaned with a cloth, if you prefer to wash them, like me, you must then dry them very well, trying not to rub them so as not to spill the oils contained in the veins.
  • Extra virgin olive oil should not be too heavy, even here I recommend using the Ligurian one.
  • The pecorino must be Sardinian, for example not the Roman one that would make the pesto too tasty and cover the other flavors.
  • The real pesto is made in the marble mortar with the pestle, the processing is a bit long but it is not something you do every day so you can also try; why the mortar is to be preferred is soon said, the classic blender has steel blades and these make the basil bitter and oxidize it.
  • If you are in a hurry or do not have a mortar, try to use a blender with plastic blades, possibly cooled for an hour in the refrigerator, the heat is another negative component for pesto; when blending the ingredients, always in the same order as if you were using a mortar, use the minimum speed while whipping a few seconds and then interrupting, several times, it will heat up less.

Ingredients for 6/8 people:

Ligurian Basil 100g (leaves only)
Pinoli 40 g
Parmigiano Reggiano 100 g
Pecorino Sardo 20 g
Extra virgin olive oil 100 g
Garlic 2 cloves
Coarse salt 6 g


First grate the Parmesan and pecorino cheese and set them aside in two different bowls.

Peel the garlic and cut it into pieces, not too small.

Wash and dry the basil leaves well and set them aside in a bowl.

Using the Marble Mortar:

Put the garlic in a mortar with a little coarse salt, it will help you to crush it, you will have to obtain a cream to which you will add the basil leaves, a few at a time so as to crush them as finely as possible, add a few grains of coarse salt even when pounded the basil will help to maintain the bright green color.

The correct movement is to rotate the wrist clockwise and at the same time, with the other hand, the mortar in the opposite direction and therefore counterclockwise.

Finish the basil leaves, add the pine nuts to the mixture, continue to crush and add the grated cheeses, first the pecorino, and then the Parmesan, continuing to crush to mix everything.

Finally add the Extra Virgin olive oil flush, your pesto is ready.

Using the blender:

carry out the steps in the same order as the mortar, every time you add an ingredient, stop the blender for a few seconds, remember not to overheat the container or blades.

To preserve the pesto, if you want to prepare it in quantity, pour it into the sterilized jars, the small ones for the jams are fine, and let it rest without the lid but with parchment paper on the mouth.
When the oil rises to the surface, close well with the lids, if you see that the oil is low, add a few drops, so that the pesto remains well insulated from the air.
You can also freeze the pesto in special containers from the freezer, keep for a few months, do not worry if it darkens a little bit over time is normal.


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