Fresh Basil Pesto

How to Make Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh basil pesto is so easy to make and one of the most versatile condiments in Italian cooking. It originated in the region of Liguria and when made fresh the salty flavour just dances on your tastebuds.

When making your own pesto at home, the trick is to use fresh basil leaves – either from your own garden, the farmers market or your neighbours!

Be warned, once you start blending the basil, your kitchen will be filled with the most delicious aroma and as soon as you combine the pine nuts and parmigiano you will not be able to resist a few scoops almost right away!

Watch the Fresh Basil Pesto video recipe:

How to Make FRESH BASIL PESTO Like an Italian

basil pesto recipe

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh is always BEST!

This pesto is all about the aroma, so if you have a plant at home, better if you could get a bunch from there

Check your basil

Make sure to rinse your basil thoroughly to  get rid of any insects and lay each individual leaf to check if it’s good and ready.

Store it properly

Store your basil pest in a jar sealed tight and keep in the fridge. You may use it often as you like!!

fresh basil pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto

Vincenzo's Plate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian


  • Chopping-board
  • knife
  • Blender


  • Large bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 10 grams Pine nuts 0.4oz
  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • Fine salt
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Parmigiano reggiano 1.05oz


  • Fresh basil pesto is all about the aroma, so if you have a basil plant at home, cut a bunch including the stalk as this will help the plant to grow back – fresh is always best!
  • Rinse the basil leaves in a bowl of water and make sure you get rid of any insects, then lay each individual leaf on a paper towel to dry.
  • To help dry the basil leaves for the fresh pesto place a paper towel on top of all them and press down very gently. This will help dry the leaves and absorb all the excess water.
  • Blend EVOO & garlic first until you get a smooth, creamy consistency before adding the pine nuts and blending again.
  • Next add basil leaves, pinch sea salt, 2 more tblsp EVOO and blend for 30 sec. If you find after this time there is still cheese all around the edges, scrape it off and into the fresh basil pesto and mix through using a tablespoon.
  • Using a small spoon, taste the fresh basil pesto for salt and flavour – if it is too salty, add a touch extra basil and EVOO and pulse blend until you’re happy with the taste.
  • Scoop it in a jar sealed tight and keep in the fridge, pairing it with delicious meals as often as you like!
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!


Keyword gluten free, Homemade, homemade italian sauce, Pine Nuts, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


How to serve Fresh Basil Pesto

This pesto sauce can be used with so many dishes, lathered over your pasta as a main or used as a dressing with lamb or even chicken. My favourite way is with ricotta gnocchi – just heat up a portion in a pan and once your gnocchi have finished cooking, strain them and put them straight into the pan so that they absorb all the fresh pesto, mix through and the taste will be just divine.

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4 Responses to Fresh Basil Pesto

  1. mMMelanieMelannie October 9, 2022 at 2:03 AM #

    Ciao Vincenzo! Grazie per la ricette! But how much is “a bunch” of basil”? We’re living in Austria and frow our own Basil but I really don’t know what’s a bunch in your terms ! So I would be glad if you could answer my question! Grazie mille e best regars! Melanie

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 2:32 AM #

      Ciao Melanie! “A bunch” of basil can vary in size depending on where you buy it or how you grow it. As a general guideline, a bunch of basil usually contains around 20-30 leaves. If you’re growing your own basil, you can use as much or as little as you like based on your personal taste preferences. Buon appetito!

  2. RicRichard November 24, 2023 at 2:27 PM #

    5 stars
    Vincenzo – top tip – to stop the pesto oxidising, blanche the basil for 30 seconds in boiling water. It will stop the paste going brown and doesn’t change the taste.
    The recipe is really good – one of the best going around, especially the garlic with oil as the first step.

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 27, 2023 at 6:44 PM #

      Ah, grazie for the fantastic tip! Blanching the basil is a brilliant idea to prevent pesto oxidation without altering the flavor. I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe, especially the garlic and oil technique—it does wonders for flavor! Thanks for being part of the kitchen journey.

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