Classic Pasta -Basil Pesto

As the summer season ends and Autumn sets inn; I have picked all the fresh basil from my food garden; which has inspired me to make fresh Basil Pesto, or Pesto alla Genovese ( originating from Genoa); I particularly enjoy Pesto with Linguine pasta, but feel free to combine Pesto with the pasta of your choice.

Food Garden - Basil


Recipe for 5;

  • 500 grams of Linguine pasta
  • 1 large Bunch of Fresh Basil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 50 grams pine nuts
  • 50 grams parmigiano or grana padano
  • salt/pepper
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil


a food processor with a steel blade, I have used a blender which I find gives the pesto the smooth consistency I prefer; If you are really keen to go old school then a mortar and pestle might be your style;

mortar and pestle

Optional Ingredients;

if you don’t have enough basil, you could also add some fresh continental parsley to the pesto; and also as an alternative to pine nuts try walnuts instead;


Pick the leaves off the basil; and set aside in a bowl for washing;

discard the stems; rinse the basil leaves under cold water;

I use a salad spinner to dry the leaves or alternatively use a pasta colander to drain the water;


add the basil leaves to the food processor; crush or chop the garlic and add to the food processor; add the pine nuts, add the grated parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste; and now add at least 1/2 cup of virgin olive oil; add the cover to the food processor and blend on low speed; you might need to shake the jug occasionally to encourage the basil to mix with the oil and blend consistently; add more oil as required for the mix to process smoothly;

Once the Pesto has been consistently processed; using a wooden spoon transfer the Pesto to a bowl or container; what you don’t use today can be frozen for later use.

Cooking the pasta;

Add 5 liters of water to a stock pot and put over a high flame;

tip; use hot water to speed up the cooking time;

Once the pasta water is boiling;

add two table spoons of cooking salt to the boiling water;

add the pasta;

be sure to stir the pasta a few times in the first few minutes so that it doesn’t stick together or to the bottom of the pot;

Cook for the time recommended on the packet; taste test the pasta in the last few minutes to ensure you don’t overlook the pasta;

drain the pasta into a colander;

once the pasta has been drained add it back to the cooking pot;

add at least one tablespoon of Pesto per person to the pasta (or to taste) and stir through;


serve straight out of the pot or add to a serving dish;

Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano and of course a glass of your favourite wine;

Buon Apetito;



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