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How to Make a Fresh Italian Basil Pesto Recipe At Home

Chef Dan Catanio , On March 1, 2023


How to Make Fresh Italian Basil Pesto At Home

This Italian Pesto Recipe Originates in Genova, Italy. The Italian region of Liguria (Genova is the region’s capital city) has lots of fresh basil growing in the foothills on the Italian Rivera and lots of olive oil and pie nuts – which are the main ingredients in this fresh basil pesto recipe. In Liguria pesto is most frequently enjoyed with gnocchi, trofie and pasta. In the United States and around the world the Italian basil pesto recipe has become a favorite for sandwiches, salads, over proteins like chicken or it can be used as a pizza sauce. The culinary usage of this fresh basil pesto recipe is versatile and it can be used on countless dishes.

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe Tools Needed

  • Blender or Food Processor

  • Measuring cups

  • Kitchen scale

  • Jar or storage container

Traditional Italian Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe Recipe Ingredients

  • Fresh Basil Leaves – 3 Cup

  • Olive Oil – 1 Cup

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – 1/4 Cup of Parmigiano Reggiano

  • Pie Nuts – 1tbsp*

  • Kosher Salt – to taste

Video of this pesto sauce recipe

In this video, Chef Dan Catanio shows the technique to preparing this fresh Italian pesto sauce:

Traditional Italian Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe Cooking Instructions

    Mix The Pesto Sauce in a Blender

  1. Remove the basil leaves from the stems. Only the fresh basil leaves should be used for the pesto sauce recipe.

  2. Place the basil leaves in your food processor or blender and pulse.

  3. Next, drizzle in the olive, parmesan cheese and pie nuts into the food processor while you continue to blend the ingredients together.

Once the ingredients are mixed in well together your traditional Italian Fresh Basil Pesto recipe is ready to be enjoyed! You can tweak the consistency of the pesto basil sauce by adding more pie nuts or more parmesan cheese and less olive oil to make the basil pesto more firm or more runny. Buon appetito!

Note: *Pie nuts are used in the original Italian pesto recipe. While pie nuts are common to the Italian region of Liguria they are not common in other parts of the world where this fresh basil pesto recipe is prepared. Therefore, other nuts like almonds, walnuts or even breadcrumbs can be used in their place depending on availability.

Chef Dan Catanio

A Culinary Institute of America graduate from the 1990s, Chef Dan began his career as a saucier at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan under the Hilton Corporation. Over the years, he has held key positions such as Corporate Executive Chef Director at 5-star restaurants, country clubs, and Indian Casino Resorts.