How to Make Italian Basil Pesto
If you are looking for the original recipe for homemade Italian basil pesto, keep reading because in this article we will explain everything: the recipe made according to tradition and officially deposited plus all the tips to prepare a tasty and fragrant basil pesto, ideal for summer recipes and consume all year round.
The recipe for homemade pesto is notoriously one of the most tormented, together with carbonara pasta: from the use of ingredients that are not appropriate to techniques that necessarily undermine the quality and flavor, this typical Ligurian recipe is usually mistreated.
Making the pesto, in fact, seems simple but in reality, if you do not respect the right doses and above all, if you do not pay attention to the order in which the ingredients are mixed, and obviously to the quality of the ingredients themselves, the result is everything but pleasant.
Is there a difference between pesto Genovese (Genoese pesto) and pesto sauce?
Although these two sentences do not seem different, in reality they are: in fact, it is possible to call “Genovese pesto” only the one prepared using the recipe filed by the Disciplinary which provides for the use of seven recognized ingredients: PDO Genoese basil, Extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Dop, Garlic, Salt and Pine Nuts. To these ingredients is added the specific technique which requires that the pesto is prepared by hand with a mortar.
Theoretically and also practically, if your pesto does not comply with the above parameters (even the PDO ingredients, which are in fact the most difficult to find if you are not in Liguria) it cannot be called Genoese pesto but it must be called pesto sauce.
The recipe you can find here is the Authentic Italian Basil Pesto Recipe made with a mortar
Basil Pesto: Tips and Tricks
- If you want to enjoy the benefits of fresh basil even in winter you can prepare the pesto and then put it to freeze in special containers or jars;
- The pesto must be prepared with all the ingredients at room temperature and fast because otherwise the basil will blacken and become bitter;
- To prevent the pesto from turning black, do not to expose it excessively to air and not even near intense heat sources;
- If, once you open the jar, you have some sauce leftover, remember to cover it with cling film and possibly add extra virgin olive oil so that it doesn’t oxidize.
Can I make pesto with a blender?
Yes, you will be making a basil pesto sauce for the reasons above. To do this, use an immersion blender being careful not to overheat the ingredients which, with the heat, lose not only the color but also the organoleptic characteristics.
Can I change the ingredients of Genoese pesto?
No, if you want to stay true to tradition. Yes, if you want to prepare a sauce that reminds you of pesto but which is not pesto. For example, you could prepare the sauce without garlic or by replacing the pine nuts with walnuts.
How can I use my pesto?
Tradition has it that pesto is used as a condiment for pasta. But you may be familiar with using your basil sauce with mozzarella and fresh tomato or as a sauce for your panini. If not, try it and you will not be disappointed.
What mortar should I use to prepare the pesto?
We recommend using a stone mortar that does not absorb odors and is more hygienic than wooden ones. These are the ones we recommend and are worth the investment, especially because they are durable:
- ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set – Available at Amazon
- Granite Mortar and Pestle Set – Available at Amazon
- Cilio Granite Mortar and Pestle Set – Available at Amazon
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