Pesto alla Genovese with Parmigiano Reggiano

Pesto alla Genovese is a typical recipe from Liguria. Pesto is used as a condiment for pasta dishes and is excellent with pasta, gnocchi and lasagne. However, as it is very versatile, it can also be combined with meat dishes and is ideal for adding flavour to soups or minestrone.

There are several versions of this recipe, but the original one uses 7 ingredients: basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, Sardinian Pecorino cheese, EVO oil and salt.

Preparation time 25 minutes

Portions 4 people


50 g small leaf basil

1 clove of garlic

1 pinch of coarse salt

30 g 36 – 37 month Parmesan cheese

15 g Sardinian Pecorino cheese

10 g pine nuts

50 ml extra virgin olive oil


To make real Pesto alla Genovese you need a marble mortar and a wooden pestle. Many also use a blender to mix the ingredients faster, but it is preferable to pound the ingredients one at a time.

To start, wash the basil leaves in cold water and put them to dry on a tea towel. In the meantime, peel the garlic and start crushing it in a mortar with a pinch of coarse salt to a creamy consistency. Now add the pine nuts and continue to pound the mixture.

After mixing everything together, add the basil leaves a little at a time and continue to pound them in a circular motion.

We advise you to move the pestle in a prolonged, firm, but always rotary motion. In this way you will gently crush the basil leaves on the walls of the mortar, preserving all the fragrance of the basil.

When the basil is well crushed, add the cheeses and start crushing again until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Finally, add the extra virgin olive oil and process the mixture again until you obtain a thick cream.

Tips For the best taste of pesto try the strong flavour of 36-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano. We recommend processing the basil at room temperature and as quickly as possible to avoid oxidation. In case the processed pesto is too thick, you can add a tablespoon of water and dilute it a little.

Remember that you should feel the presence of all the ingredients, but none should prevail. Here is the traditional recipe for Pesto alla Genovese!

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