How to Make Pesto like an Italian Grandmother

From the kitchen of: Heidi Swanson -
Review: 5/5
A recipe for hand chopped pesto. The texture of hand chopping adds a great deal to the flavor. Food processors tend to make mush. Notice that there is no salt, just the salt of the cheese. For pasta, use well salted water to boil the pasta or the lack of salt will detract from the flavor.


1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried. Genovese basil suggested.
3 medium cloves of garlic.
One small handful of raw pine nuts.
3/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated.
A few tablespoons of olive oil.


1. Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more.

2. Add half the pine nuts. Chop. Add the other half. Chop.

3. Add half the Parmesan. Chop. Add the rest. Chop.

4. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a pest "cake".

5. Move the cake to a bowl. Cover with olive oil. Not much, just a few tablespoons.

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