Pesto alla Genovese

From the Wine Enthusiast Pairings Book
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh young basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 34 cup pine nuts
  • 12 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 12 cup olive oil, preferably a light colored Ligurian oil
  • Salt to taste

Place the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a mortar and lightly grind into a paste with the pestle. Allow the basil leaves and pine nuts to coagulate, then add the cheese and mix until evenly combined. Continue to mix as you add the oil in a thin stream.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and then the pasta. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, then lay the strips on the work surface and cut into 4-inch rectangles.

In a bowl, toss the pasta with one small portion of the pesto at a time, until the pasta is thoroughly coated. Continue to add the pesto, tossing after each addition. Serve at once.

Note: Cubed boiled potatoes and cooked string beans are sometimes added to this dish.

Published on December 17, 2009
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