Pesto Alla Genovese


Pesto alla Genovese is a simple fragrant sauce and one of Italy’s most popular sauces originating from Liguria in the north-western part of the boot.

The essential ingredients are basil, garlic, pine-nuts, extra-virgin olive oil and aged Italian cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano or Grana Padana.

It is super easy, delicious and can be put together in mere minutes. Pesto is best served fresh while the flavors are bright, bold and strong but also keeps well in the fridge for up to one week, covered, with an extra layer of extra-virgin olive oil in the jar to prevent the basil from oxidizing or turning brown.

There are endless ways to use pesto. Try it as a flavor booster for minestrone soup, pizza topping or as a sandwich spread. Toss it with gnocchi or any pasta of your choice.

fettuccine basil pesto 1

My favorite way is to toss it with linguine. So quick and easy and packed with the wonderful flavors of summer!


  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Step By Step Pesto

basil pesto  Place the basil, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves and salt into a food processor or a blender.

basil pesto1

 Process on high using the shortest amount of time so the basil does not lose it’s vibrant green color. (When I make large quantities I freeze it at this point before adding the cheese.)

basil pesto2  Unplug the machine and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

basil pesto3

I used the end of a wooden spoon to reach down and stir. Or simply invert the pesto sauce into a small bowl and then stir in the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


It should not be overly smooth. A little chunky with some texture and you have the perfect pesto sauce. 🙂

Yields 1 cup

©2015 Marisa’s Italian Kitchen


  1. Well done! You’ve made me hungry:) Love your pictures!

  2. I keep saying I am going to make pesto! I had never really tried it until recently and loved it! This looks so delicious Marisa! I need to give it a try, I am hoping today! Thanks!

  3. Good Morning….this is almost a duplicate recipe to my x mom in law from Lucca, Northern Italy….yumm sauce and good on so many things…thanks for sharing, I will have to make myself a small jar….my personal favorite is on bruschetta….with big ole bowl of minestrone….have a great Sunday…kathy

  4. my god marisa!!!!! my favorite meal, pasta!!!!!!! looks so inviting and delicious that i would actually have this for breakfast!!!!!!! good job!!!!

  5. Love this classic tasty recipe. Beautiful photos! 🙂

  6. I just love pesto! Your photos were great!

  7. Fabulously yummy Marisa! A must try, yum

  8. Beautiful, Marisa. Lovely photos too!

  9. Marisa, this looks delicious. Your photos are amazing!

  10. Beautiful photos Marisa, I have featured home made pesto also – but I am rather lazy with my photos (I am improving slowly but surely)
    I have been poorly and only just finally got around to delving into your blog,
    I love it!

  11. Must be delicious! Looks like it 😉

  12. such a classic! Your photos are so lovely.