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RECIPE: Pasta al Pesto---Ligurian style

RECIPE: Pasta al Pesto---Ligurian style

One of the most simple Italian recipes ( and yummy too) is Pasta al Pesto.  The original recipe is from the Liguria region in North-Western Italy.  Liguria is a mountainous region on the coast famous for its beaches---and of course pesto. The green mountainous region is famous for its large-leafed basil---thus giving rise to its world-famous pesto.  Pesto is just a sauce made with a mortar and pestle--the most famous being the one made with basil. 

Here's how to make it! 


  • mortar, and pestle or an electric hand blender
  • a bowl
  • a food scale                                                    


  • 50 grams large leaf Ligurian basil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 30 g dry pecorino cheese
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 70 grams parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


The original recipe has boiled green beans and potatoes.  The original recipe is served with trofie pasta---if you can't find them you can always make them :D.

So this is how you make it -- Turn your oven on and pop in the pine nut for. few minutes until they are lightly golden.  In the meantime, throw in the garlic (sometimes I think 2 cloves are too much, so taste it first---if you aren't a garlic fan just omit it) with a little bit of olive oil and start blending away!   Add the salt and then the garlic one leaf at a time.  Add the cheese---it's better to grate it first.  Add the remaining olive oil. Throw in those yummy pine nuts (don't eat too many).  Serve over hot trofie or fettuccine.  If the mixture is too dry you can ladle in some of the pasta water.  

Buon Appetitto!