Prep 20 mins
Cook 0 mins
This is a proper pesto, with the cheese, garlic, and pignoli providing subtle accompaniment to the bright freshness of basil. The mortar-and-pestle preparation keeps it from turning black, as it would if made with a knife or food processor. You can keep this pesto in the fridge up to six months, as long as you keep a thin film of oil floating on top. This is a thin sauce, not the thick, gloppy stuff you get in the supermarket.
- 1 bunch fresh basil, washed and thoroughly dried (80 medium sized leaves, about 1.5 ounces by weight)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Pound the basil, garlic, salt and pine nuts together in the mortar until they are a paste. Start by grinding the mass against the sides of the mortar, using a twisting motion of the pestle. Once everything has been reduced to a paste, you can start pounding.
- Slowly add the cheeses, about a tablespoon at a time, continuing to pound.
- Once the cheeses are fully incorporated, scrape it into a bowl and begin slowly adding the olive oil, stirring constantly.
- Transfer any leftovers into a sealable jar, and float a thin layer of oil on top.