Basil pesto is a creamy sauce that belongs to the Italian culinary traditions and in particular, it originates in Genoa, the capital of Liguria’s region.
This delicious green paste is a versatile sauce good for many recipes besides the classic pasta with pesto. In fact, you can use it as a pizza topping, marinade for oven-baked fish, dressing for salads, filling for pastry pies and vegetarian lasagna. Pesto is also great for dipping or spooned in soups, couscous, and frittata 🤩.
If you want to know how to make fresh Italian basil pesto, follow our easy step-by-step recipe. In no time you’ll have a homemade pesto cream sauce which is so much better than the store-bought one in taste, quality, and freshness.
The quality of the pesto ingredients is the secret for a perfect sauce. In fact, make sure you use only the freshest basil leaves, which should be dry and not broken. Then, the oil must be extra virgin olive oil, possibly a sweet one to balance the tangy garlic. Finally, use only well-matured parmesan and pecorino cheese and fresh pine nuts, not the roasted ones.
One of the challenges of making the perfect pesto is to keep the pesto from turning brown. This happens when the leaves are exposed to the air for too long which causes them to oxidize giving you a bitter and dark sauce.
But don’t worry! We are here to help you with these essential tips for a bright green pesto sauce:
Work the ingredients as fast as possible.
Add a pinch of coarse salt.
Use a mortar and pestle and not a food processor.
To store your basil pesto, keep it in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze it in small pots. It comes really handy to have a stock of this sauce ready for any recipe 🤙.