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Pesto Alla Genoese

Pesto is Italian for paste; this pesto is the one we most frequently think of when someone says pesto and it has a lot of uses.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 - 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1/4 cup  pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, or combination
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or less, depending on the consistency desired


  1. Place basil or other leaves, cheese, garlic, nuts and salt in blender or food processor.  Process with on/off turns until well blended, scrape down sides of container. 

  2. Slowly add the olive oil (you may not need as much as called for, and can substitute with half water if needed), the finished product should resemble soft butter.

  3. Makes about 1 cup pesto.  Freezes well.

Recipe Notes

So, what are you going to do with your pesto?

Stir it into mayonnaise for a great spread … Or use this as the dressing for potato salad ...

Dollop it on top of a block of cream cheese, and serve  with crackers;  pipe or spoon it into cherry tomato halves or cooked new potato halves for a great appetizer ...

Stir it into your hummus for a different flavor profile ...

While the pasta cooks, heat the pesto in a skillet with a bit of hot water from the pasta pot or some heavy cream. Toss in the hot pasta and ALORA! It's dinner!

Shake it up with a bit more olive oil to thin it to a dressing consistency, and drizzle a bit over grilled fish.