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Pesto Alla Genovese (Classic Basil Pesto)

Pesto Alla Genovese (Classic Basil Pesto)

Pesto Alla Genovese, a classic basil pesto sauce. It's so quick and easy to make with fresh basil, pine nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garlic.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Basil Pesto, Pesto all Genovese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 254kcal


  • Food Processor


  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves (packed) rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt I used fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  • Place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor or blender.
  • Pulse and process on high while using the shortest amount of time so the basil does not lose its vibrant green colour .
  • Transfer the basil mixture into a small bowl and stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Toss with your favourite pasta, gnocchi or even a potato salad. Or, use as a base for pizza topping.
    It's also wonderful served alongside grilled chicken or fish.


Storing Instructions: Homemade basil pesto keeps quite well in the fridge, in an air tight jar, for approximately 2 weeks. When storing, always keep a thin layer of oil on the surface as this will keep the basil from turning brown or oxidizing.
Freezing Instructions: For optimal flavour freeze without the cheese for up to 3 months.

For A Quick And Easy Sauce To Toss With Pasta

Pesto alla Genovese makes a quick and easy sauce to toss with your favourite pasta.
For 454g of pasta follow directions below. Serves 4-6 depending on portion size.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  • Toss the pasta with 3/4 cup of pesto and some of the reserved cooking water to thin out the sauce a little.
  • You can adjust the consistency of the sauce with a little more pesto or cooking water to your liking.
  • Serve with freshly cracked peppercorns and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. 


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1mg