How to Make Pesto – Recipe and Tips

The word pesto comes from the word pestâ, which means to pound. This classic pesto sauce originated in the Italian port of Genoa. Traditionally it is made in mortar and pestle, but now days it is pound in food processor. It adds a distinctive flavor to salads, pasta, pizza, and other dishes.

A spoonful of pesto adds a new dimension to mayonnaise, creating a rich, pungent Maionese verde, it is also excellent tossed with Bocconcini cheese with tomatoes.

Pesto Ingredients:

Fresh Basil: The delicate aromatic herb is widely used in Italian & Thai cuisine. The herb has a sweet and slightly pungent flavor.  Basil is available in many grocery stores. One type of basil is Tulsi or holy basil plays a important role in Ayurvedic medicines, reducing oxidative stress, supporting liver health, reducing skin aging, and preventing high blood sugar.

Pine Nuts: These are very small, cream colored nuts have a rich aromatic flavor that lends itself well to toasting.Chilgoza “pine nut is high in calorie, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. The nuts are especially rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood.

On the downside, pine nuts are prohibitively expensive, so in that case to save money you can use raw almonds, walnuts or pecans instead.

Parmesan Cheese: It is an Italian DOC cheese. This is widely used in numerous traditional recipes. The aroma is sweet and fruity, the color is fresh straw yellow and the taste is strong, fruity and rich.

Extra virgin Olive oil: The premium oil has a superior flavor. It comes from the first cold pressing of the olives and has a very low acidity. It lowers inflammation, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation, improves the lining of your blood vessels and may help prevent excessive blood clotting.

1. Fresh basil leaves (wash & pet dry) 50 gm
2. Garlic, peeled 03 nos cloves
3. Pine nuts/Almond / walnut 10 gm
4. Freshly grated Parmesan 10 gm
5. Salt to taste
6. Black pepper to taste
7. Olive oil 75 ml
8. Parsley 10 gm


To make the pesto, combine basil, parsley, garlic, nuts and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, gradually add the olive oil and process until the pesto is coarsely smooth.

Transfer the pesto to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper as per taste.

If you want to freeze Pesto, don’t add the cheese and salt. Adding the cheese and salt right before serving brightens the flavor and avoids a gummy texture. Before freezing top the pesto  with olive oil  to prevent green color.

How to toss pasta with pesto sauce?

Cook the pasta till al- dente. Heat the pan, add olive oil, freshly chopped garlic and sauté it. Add pasta and toss. Pour little hot water, add pesto sauce. Tossed well.  Adjust seasoning.

Transfer the pasta in a serving plate, topped with grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve tossed garlic bread with pasta.

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