Special equipment: Mortar and pestle
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated hard cheese (Parmesan or Pecorino Romano)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by washing and drying the basil leaves. Then, remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems together with any wilted or damaged leaves.
- Roughly chop the basil leaves and place them in the mortar.
- Add the pine nuts and garlic, along with a pinch of salt and a little bit of black pepper.
- Use the pestle to grind and mash the ingredients together, moving in a circular motion. Grind and mash until the basil leaves are broken down, and the ingredients are well combined.
- Gradually add the extra-virgin olive oil to the mortar, continuing to grind and mash the ingredients until they form a smooth and well-combined paste. You may need to add a little more olive oil to achieve the desired consistency.
- Once the pesto is fully ground and combined, transfer it to a serving dish or container. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, and season the pesto with additional salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve the pesto immediately or store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. To preserve its freshness, you can cover the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil before storing it.
- The ratios for this recipe are definitely adjustable. You can create different textures and flavors by playing around with the amount of cheese, oil, and pine nuts and see what you like the best.
- Remember to apply a gentle and steady hand when using a mortar and pestle. It may take some practice to get the hang of the technique, but with time and experience, you will be able to create delicious pesto and other ground foods with ease.