Make your own Pesto, Basil Pesto alla Genovese, Recipe with Step by Step Photos and Chef´s Tips

Pesto made in a glass and photographed from above.
Pour the homemade pesto into a screw glass.

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Hi, I am a German Chef and Food Photographer. The imparting of cooking knowledge is my great passion. Everyone can cook for himself and with this website I would like to contribute to its success. Cooking questions I answer you gladly at the end of the articles. Have fun and good luck!

In this post I will show you my chef Basil Pesto alla genovese recipe. Making your own basil pesto step by step is very easy.

Pesto alla Genovese – the pesto may also be called “the pesto” and the word comes from the Italian “pestare”, meaning “crush”.

The pesto is an uncooked herb sauce and comes from Italian or Roman cuisine.

Pesto was first mentioned and documented in the Ligurian region around 1863. The cold basil sauce tastes delicious with a wide variety of dishes.

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1. Which ingredients belong in the Original Pesto alla Genovese?

The original pesto consists of basil, parmesan, garlic, roasted pine nuts, olive oil, salt, pepper.

The pesto was traditionally prepared in a mortar.

basil bunch
Fresh basil is needed for a homemade pesto. During the bear's garlic season, the preparation of bear's garlic pesto is recommended.
Fresh basil is needed for a homemade pesto. During the bear’s (wild) garlic season, the preparation of wild garlic pesto is recommended.

1.1 Shopping List for the Supermarket

For a good basil pesto you need the following ingredients…

The exact quantities for the ingredients can be found below in the recipe for pesto. I like to exchange the pine nuts for roasted almonds. This tastes just as good and is another pesto variant. Also try walnuts or cashew kernels. You can be creative here…

If you want to wash the basil, please spin dry before preparing the pesto!

Add garlic to the pesto and the pesto will be delicious!
Add the sliced garlic to the pesto.
Add the sliced garlic to the pesto.

3. Make your own Herb sauce, which Variants are there?

You can prepare your pesto in four different ways:

3.1 Preparing with a Hand Blender

I like to use my hand blender for pesto preparation. The preparation is child’s play.

Important: Grate the cheese finely beforehand with a cheese grater. Cheese pieces that are too large cannot be easily mixed into oil.

Once the cheese is grated, you can put all the ingredients in a blender jug and mix quickly with a hand blender.

3.2 Preparing in the Multi-Crusher (Cutter)

Start here with the cheese: Cut the cheese pieces into small pieces and place them in the multi-crusher. Then chop finely. Then add the remaining ingredients and crush the cheese and prepare to the pesto. Your homemade pesto is ready in 5 minutes!

3.3 Preparing in a Mortar

You’ll need a big kitchen mortar for that. Start with the garlic, then add the finely chopped basil and the remaining ingredients and grate, crush the ingredients evenly.

For this variant you need some strength, endurance and patience 🙂

3.4 Preparing in Thermomix

The Thermomix is excellent for the preparation of Pesto alla Genovese. From my experience, however, only for large quantities. Experience shows that it takes a little longer to decant from the mixing bowl.

Here are the instructions for preparing pesto in the Wunderkessel…

One more hint:
The Thermomix cookbook indicates a shelf life of up to one month, which I consider to be too long. But a week is certainly not a problem.

Please only remove the pesto with a clean spoon and cover with oil before closing.

With the hand blender the basil pesto preparation goes fast. crush all ingredients in the mixing bowl. © Thomas Sixt Food Photographer
Crush the pesto ingredients with a hand blender.
Crush the pesto ingredients with a hand blender.

Here is another seasonal cooking tip: In spring you can also prepare wild garlic pesto instead of basil pesto.

4. Preserving Basil Pesto…

The secret of the preservation of pesto: Wrap the filled pesto in the glass with aluminium foil…so you can minimize harmful light influences. The pesto remains usable for a long time and its colour is appetisingly light green!

Please only remove the pesto with a clean spoon. I cover the pesto additionally in the glass with a cling film.

Place a piece of cling film, cut to fit, directly on the oil. To remove the pesto, simply put the foil aside and renew.

Your pesto tastes so delicious that it won’t stand in the fridge for two days!

Pesto glass wrapped in aluminum foil, make pesto durable.
How to preserve basil pesto: Close the pesto glass and wrap the glass in aluminum foil.
How to preserve basil pesto: Close the pesto glass and wrap the glass in aluminium foil.

5. What goes with Pesto?

The classic to Basil pesto is certainly pasta. This preparation is most delicious with Linguine, a slightly wider or flat spaghetti type or with Trofie. Trofie are short, pointed, twisted noodles made of durum wheat semolina.

My recipe for spaghetti pesto genovese shows you how to prepare it step by step.

Pesto with Basil goes perfectly with…

pasta-pesto-genovese with crunchy herbs and caramelized tomato
Recipe image Recipe for pasta with pesto, spaghetti Pesto alla genovese Post image for the recipe for pasta with basil sauce.
Noodles with pesto alla genovese, spaghetti with basil sauce, alla pesto genovese original, with potatoes, beans and tomatoes. © Thomas Sixt Foodfotograf

6. Recipe Pesto, my Basil Pesto

Below you will find the recipe for pesto with step by step photos as instructions. The consistency of my pesto is rather liquid. If you want your pesto to be firmer, please use more basil and pine nuts or reduce the amount of oil. I wish you good luck!

Pesto alla genovese, cold Basil Sauce

Original Pesto alla Genovese recipe by Chef Thomas Sixt. Prepare your own basil pesto step by step.

Servings 6 Portions
Calories 244
Total Time 10 Min.
Pesto alla Genovese selber machen, das zeige ich in diesem Beitrag mit Schritt für Schritt Anleitung und Rezept. Viele Tipps zur Zubereitung und Ideen wozu das Pesto passt sind auch dabei. Die Kochschule zum Basilikumpesto zeigt die gelingsichere Zubereitung und alle Chefkoch Tipps auf einen Blick. Die Kitchen Story vermittelt alle notwendigen Kniffe für ein perfektes Pesto mit Basilikum. Viel Spass und gutes Gelingen!

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Pesto made in a glass and photographed from above.
Pour the homemade pesto into a screw glass.

Cousine

Preparation Time

5 Min.

Cook Time

5 Min.

Ingredients

60 g parmesan or pecorino (finely ground)
2 bunches basil
1-2 tbs pine nuts (roasted, cooled down)
1/2 piece Garlic clove (or even less)
1/2 tsp Salt
4 pinches Pepper (black, white or dried green)
125 ml oliv oil

Instruction

Basil pesto ingredients. Prepare pesto step by step.
Basil Pesto ingredients on a kitchen board: grated Parmesan or Pecorino, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic

Make all ingredients ready. Finely grate Parmesan cheese or Pecorino with the cheese grater. The pine nuts absolutely roast, only in such a way the typical Pesto taste comes off!

Ingredients for basil Pesto alla genovese © Thomas Sixt Foodfotograf
Prepared pesto ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Place basil, grated cheese, pine nuts, salt and pepper in the mixing bowl.

Add garlic to the pesto and the pesto will be delicious!
Add the sliced garlic to the pesto.

I always add some garlic to the homemade basil pesto.

Add olive oil to the basil pesto ingredients.
Pour the olive oil into the mixing bowl with the pesto ingredients.

Pour the olive oil into the blender jug.

With the hand blender the basil pesto preparation goes fast. crush all ingredients in the mixing bowl. © Thomas Sixt Food Photographer
Crush the pesto ingredients with a hand blender.

Crush the prepared ingredients in a mixing bowl with a hand blender. Season the Basilikumpesto Final.

Homemade pesto in a glass photographed from above.
Pour homemade pesto into a screw-top jar.

Pour the pesto into a screw glass or into bowls for serving.

Pesto glass wrapped in aluminum foil, make pesto durable.
How to preserve basil pesto: Close the pesto glass and wrap the glass in aluminum foil.

Freshly prepared pesto stays green and attractive longer if you wrap aluminium foil around the glass.

Pesto on a plate with bread serving example.
Homemade pesto with bread on a plate. Pesto goes well with snacks, as a sauce with starters, salads, soups, roasts, fish and pasta.

Enjoy homemade pesto with bread on a plate…Pesto goes well with snacks, as a sauce with starters, salads, soups, roasts, fish and pasta. Good luck and a good appetite!

You can also prepare the cold herb sauce with wild garlic and carrot green. Wild garlic pesto is perfect in spring, carrot green pesto all year round.

8. Calories (kcal) and nutritional values

9. More Ideas

Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers

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