fresh basil pesto


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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

Large bunch fresh basil leaves
10g/0.4oz Pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Fine salt
One clove of garlic
3 tablespoons/1.05oz parmigiano reggiano

Chopping board


  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Blend EVOO & garlic first until you get a smooth, creamy consistency before adding the pine nuts and blending again.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Scoop it in a jar sealed tight and keep in the fridge, pairing it with delicious meals as often as you like!

basil pesto

Fresh basil pesto 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.

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!


Recipes where you can use Fresh Basil Pesto:

pesto pizza recipe

cheese twists

crispy skin salmon


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