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Pesto Genovese

Three glass jars partially filled with pesto Genovese.
This pesto Genovese is a classic Italian tradition that's simple to toss together and has countless uses that extend way beyond tossing it with pasta.
Katie Caldesi

Prep 15 mins
Total 15 mins
Condiments
Italian

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup really tightly packed basil leaves stems removed
  • 1 small garlic clove peeled
  • 6 tablespoons pine nuts raw or lightly toasted
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated
  • Salt to taste

Directions 

  • Place the basil leaves in a mortar and crush them with a pestle until they collapse into a pulp or toss the leaves in a food processor and process until they're finely chopped.
  • Add the garlic and pine nuts and crush or pulse repeatedly until combined. Transfer everything to a bowl if you'd like a little more elbow room as you stir.
  • Using a metal spoon, as slowly as you can, add the 1/3 cup olive oil into the mixture 1 spoonful at a time. Then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano. If a more drizzle-friendly consistency is desired, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; otherwise, leave it as-is. Taste and, if you feel it's necessary, season with salt to taste, although given how salty Parmigiano is, you may not need any added salt. Use immediately or, to store the pesto for later, pour it into a clean jar, top with just enough olive oil to completely cover the surface, screw on the lid, and tuck it away in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.