Let's explore the delicious world of Pesto Di Basilico, also known as Basil Pesto. This Italian classic is incredibly versatile and easy to make. With just a few basic ingredients, you can create a flavorful sauce that elevates your dishes to a whole new level!
- Why you'll love this easy pesto di basilico recipe
- Ingredients used to make pesto di basilico
- What type of basil should I use?
- Steps by step instructions
- Other Italian recipes you might enjoy
- Recipe tips
- Serving pesto di basilico
- Recipe variations
- Frequently asked questions
- Pesto Di Basilico Ricetta (Basil Pesto)
Pesto Di Basilico, also known as Genoese Pesto or Pesto alla Genovese, gets its name from its place of origin, Genoa, Italy, where the use of fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, and olive oil in this sauce originated.
Growing up in an Italian household with roots in Calabria, our culinary traditions were firmly rooted in the flavors of southern Italy.
Pesto di basilico, which hails from Genoa in northern Italy, wasn't a familiar presence on our table.
However, once I ventured beyond the comforts of home, I had my first taste of basil pesto and instantly fell in love with its vibrant flavors.
It's amazing how culinary exploration can open up a world of delicious possibilities, even when far from home!
Why you'll love this easy pesto di basilico recipe
- Fresh and Flavorful: This recipe celebrates the vibrant and fresh flavors of basil, with aromatic fresh basil leaves and the nutty richness of pine nuts, combined with the boldness of fresh garlic, creating a truly delightful basil pesto sauce.
- Quick and Easy: With the help of a food processor, whipping up this basil pesto sauce is a breeze. It's perfect for busy weeknights when you want a delicious and hassle-free meal.
- Keto and Gluten-Free: For those following a keto or gluten-free diet, this pasta dish is a fantastic option. It's made without gluten-containing ingredients and fits well within a low-carb lifestyle.
- Versatile Pesto: This recipe provides you with a versatile basil pesto sauce that you can use beyond pasta. It's excellent as a dip, spread, or drizzled over grilled meats and vegetables, adding a burst of freshness to any dish.
- Quality Ingredients: The use of extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves, and authentic Parmesan cheese ensures that you're getting the best possible flavors in every bite. You'll savor the rich and pure taste of this classic Genoese pesto alla Genovese recipe.
With its simplicity, quality ingredients, and incredible taste, this Easy Basilico Garlic Pasta with Pesto is bound to become a favorite in your kitchen, whether you're following a special diet or simply craving a delicious and satisfying meal.
Ingredients used to make pesto di basilico
It's worth noting that this recipe represents the most basic version of basil pesto, and that's what makes it so wonderful – its simplicity. The beauty of this dish lies in its adaptability.
The ingredients and quantities used may vary according to your personal preferences. Feel free to experiment and adjust to create your perfect basil pesto, tailored to your unique taste buds.
Whether you like it with an extra kick of garlic, a touch more Parmesan cheese, or a sprinkle of pine nuts, the choice is yours to customize and savor.
- Fresh Basil Leaves: Fresh basil leaves are the star ingredient, providing the signature aromatic and herbaceous flavor that defines basil pesto.
- Pine Nuts: Pine nuts add a nutty richness and creaminess to the pesto, balancing the sharpness of the basil.
- Fresh Garlic: A fresh garlic clove imparts a bold and pungent flavor, giving the pesto its characteristic kick.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil not only contributes to the creamy texture but also enhances the overall flavor with its fruity and robust notes.
- Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a salty, savory depth to the pesto, enhancing its umami profile.
See the recipe card for quantities.
What type of basil should I use?
For classic basil pesto, it's best to use sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). This variety is the most commonly used for pesto due to its aromatic and slightly sweet flavor profile.
The aromatic compounds in sweet basil, such as eugenol, contribute to the characteristic basil flavor that makes pesto so delightful.
However, if you have access to other basil varieties like Genovese basil, which is a type of sweet basil and the traditional choice for pesto, or Thai basil, you can experiment with them for unique flavor twists in your pesto.
Ultimately, the choice of basil will influence the flavor of your pesto, so select the one that aligns with your preferences and the dish you plan to create.
Steps by step instructions
I encourage you to watch the accompanying recipe video to get a step-by-step visual guide on how I crafted this delightful basil pesto.
Seeing the process in action can be incredibly helpful in recreating this classic sauce to perfection.
How to make pesto di basilico (basil pesto)?
STEP 1: Prepare the Fresh Basil Leaves
Begin by washing and thoroughly drying the fresh basil leaves. This ensures they are clean and free from excess moisture.
STEP 2: Blend the Basil Leaves
In a food processor, place half of the fresh basil leaves along with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Pulse until the basil leaves are finely chopped and form a rough paste.
After pulsing the first half of the basil leaves, add the remaining half to the food processor.
Pulse again to incorporate them evenly with the first batch. As needed, use the rubber spatula to ensure all the basil leaves are blended uniformly.
STEP 3: Integrate Parmesan Cheese, Pine Nuts, Olive Oil and Salt
With the basil leaves well-blended, add the grated Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and any additional salt or olive oil required for seasoning.
Continue to pulse until the mixture reaches your desired pesto consistency. Don't forget to use the rubber spatula to push down any ingredients clinging to the sides or lid of the processor.
- STEP 4: Adjust and Taste
- Taste the basil pesto and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, olive oil, or any other ingredient to suit your personal preferences.
- Ensure you scrape down the sides and incorporate any unblended ingredients with the spatula.
- Some prefer a smoother pesto, while others like it slightly chunky. Adjust the olive oil quantity if necessary to achieve the desired texture.
STEP 5: Serve or Store
Your homemade basil pesto is now ready to be used in your favorite recipes.
Alternatively, transfer it to an airtight container, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent oxidation, seal it well, and store it in the refrigerator for future use.
Here are two recipe tips to help you make the best basil pesto recipe ever:
- Use High-Quality Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients matters. Opt for fresh, fragrant basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, and authentic Parmesan cheese. Toasted pine nuts can also add an extra layer of flavor. The better the ingredients, the more vibrant and delicious your basil pesto will be.
- Taste and Adjust: Don't hesitate to taste your basil pesto as you go along. Different basil leaves can vary in intensity, and personal preferences for salt and garlic can differ. By tasting and adjusting the seasoning and ingredient ratios throughout the blending process, you can ensure your pesto is perfectly suited to your taste buds.
Serving pesto di basilico
Basil pesto is incredibly versatile and can be served with a wide range of dishes. Here are some popular options:
- Pasta: Toss basil pesto with cooked low carb pasta for a simple and flavorful pasta dish. It's a classic pairing and works well with various pasta shapes.
- Pizza: Use basil pesto as a pizza sauce or drizzle it over a freshly baked pizza for a burst of herbal freshness.
- Sandwiches: Spread basil pesto on sandwiches or wraps for a delightful flavor boost. It pairs especially well with grilled chicken or turkey.
- Salads: Use basil pesto as a dressing for salads, particularly those featuring tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh greens like spinach or arugula.
- Grilled Meats: Serve basil pesto as a sauce for grilled meats like chicken, fish, or steak. It adds a vibrant touch to your protein.
- Vegetables: Roasted or grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers, are enhanced by a drizzle of basil pesto.
- Soups: Basil pesto can be a fantastic addition to soups, providing a burst of fresh flavor and vibrant color.
- Dips: Incorporate basil pesto into creamy dips or use it as a veggie dip on its own.
- Marinades: Mix basil pesto with olive oil and use it as a marinade for chicken or seafood before grilling.
These are just a few ideas, but feel free to get creative! Basil pesto's vibrant and herbaceous flavor can enhance a wide variety of dishes, so don't hesitate to experiment and discover your favorite pairings.
The best way to store basil pesto is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Transfer to Container: Once you've made your basil pesto, transfer it to a clean and dry airtight container. You can use a glass jar with a tight-sealing lid or a plastic container with a well-fitting lid.
- Olive Oil Seal: To prevent oxidation and maintain the vibrant green color of the pesto, drizzle a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pesto in the container. This forms a protective seal.
- Seal Tightly: Seal the container tightly to prevent air from getting in. Make sure the lid is secure.
- Refrigerate: Store the sealed container of basil pesto in the refrigerator. It should be kept in the coolest part of your fridge, which is often near the back.
By following these steps, your basil pesto should stay fresh for up to a week or even longer, depending on the quality of the ingredients used.
If you don't plan to use it within that time frame, consider freezing it in ice cube trays or small containers for longer storage.
Just be sure to add a thin layer of olive oil on top before freezing to protect the pesto from freezer burn.
These basil pesto variations offer a delightful array of flavors, from the tangy richness of sun-dried tomatoes to the peppery kick of arugula, allowing you to tailor your pesto to suit your taste and elevate your dishes with creativity.
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto: This variation adds the rich, tangy flavor of sun-dried tomatoes to the classic basil pesto, creating a bold and robust pesto sauce.
- Spinach and Walnut Pesto: In this variation, fresh spinach leaves and toasted walnuts are blended with basil to create a nutty, earthy twist on traditional pesto.
- Lemon and Parmesan Pesto: Brighten up your pesto with fresh lemon zest and a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for a zesty and cheesy flavor profile.
- Red Pepper Pesto: Roasted red bell peppers take center stage in this variation, offering a sweet and smoky dimension to your pesto sauce.
- Arugula and Pistachio Pesto: Peppery arugula and crunchy pistachio nuts create a unique and slightly spicy pesto with a delightful texture and taste.
These basil pesto variations can be gluten free if you ensure that all the ingredients you use are gluten-free, particularly when it comes to items like sun-dried tomatoes (check for additives), Parmesan cheese (look for certified gluten-free brands), and any other potential sources of gluten in your chosen ingredients.
The core pesto ingredients of basil, olive oil, nuts, and various flavorings are naturally gluten-free.
Frequently asked questions
If you don't have pine nuts or have nut allergies, you can substitute them with toasted walnuts, almonds, cashews, or even sunflower seeds for a similar nutty texture and flavor in your pesto.
Yes, you can make a vegan version of Pesto Di Basilico by omitting the Parmesan cheese or using a vegan alternative. You'll still achieve a delicious and flavorful vegan pesto with the other classic ingredients.
Yes, you can certainly use other herbs instead of basil to create a herb-infused pesto with a unique flavor profile. Herbs like cilantro, parsley, arugula, or mint can be excellent alternatives, each lending their distinct aroma and taste to the pesto. Feel free to experiment and combine different herbs to create your own flavorful variations.
Pesto Di Basilico Ricetta (Basil Pesto)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 5 tablespoon parmesan grated
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
The quantity of ingredients used can vary according to your personal preference and taste, but these are the basic ingredients to make this pesto.
Watch the accompanying recipe video to get a step-by-step visual guide
- Start by washing and thoroughly drying fresh basil leaves. This ensures they are clean and free from excess moisture.2 cups fresh basil leaves
- In a food processor, place half of the fresh basil leaves, along with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Pulse until they are finely chopped and form a rough paste. Use a rubber spatula to push down any basil leaves that stick to the sides.⅛ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup olive oil
- After pulsing the first half of the basil leaves, add the remaining half to the food processor. Pulse again to incorporate them evenly with the first batch. As needed, use the rubber spatula to ensure all the basil leaves are blended uniformly.
- With the basil leaves well-blended, add the pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese. Continue blending while slowly drizzling in extra virgin olive oil until the mixture reaches your desired pesto consistency. Season with salt to taste.5 tablespoon parmesan, 2 tablespoon pine nuts, 1 garlic clove, ¼ cup olive oil
- Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning, as needed. You can add more salt, olive oil, or garlic for your preferred flavor.
- Your homemade Pesto Di Basilico is now ready to be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use.
- Use High-Quality Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients matters. Opt for fresh, fragrant basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, and authentic Parmesan cheese. Toasted pine nuts can also add an extra layer of flavor.
- Taste and Adjust: Don't hesitate to taste your basil pesto as you go along. Different basil leaves can vary in intensity, and personal preferences for salt and garlic can differ.
This recipe card provides the basic details to make this recipe. For more information, questions or variations please review the content above the recipe card.
Updates and Revisions
If conflicting information between the video and recipe card, the recipe card will always have the most up to date information, ingredients and instructions.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
This website contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, we may receive a commission in return. I Hacked Diabetes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.