- Preparation time
- Cooking time
In a blender or in a food processor, blend fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil at medium speed for 1 minute. Add the Parmesan cheese and the Pecorino Romano cheese already grated. Blend 1-2 minute or until you reach a creamy consistency. Season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan to the boil. Add some salt and let the pasta boil for 10-12 minutes following the instructions on the pack, until tender but still firm to the bite “al dente”. Pesto makes its best with linguine, gnocchi and trofie (the traditional pasta from Genova).
Drain the pasta and put it in a large skillet. Stir in the pesto, toss the pasta well and serve. Never heat pesto, or the cheese will paste and the color will turn dark.
Pesto can be prepared in 10 minutes, beside basil has to be worked quickly, as it tends to darken and oxidize.
The original recipe says that all the ingredients have to be hand-ground in a marble mortar (pesto literary means “beaten”).
Living in a modern world at modern speed, I use a blender and I suggest you to do so. As the blender tends to moist ingredients too much, use the blender at medium power and do not blend the ingredients for long. To prevent oxidation of basil and the darkening of the cream, the secret is to put some ice cubes in the blender and let them moist with the rest of the ingredients.
You can prepare Pesto in large advance, and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it. When defrosting it do NOT heat it, otherwise the cheese will paste and the color will turn dark.