- 12 12 12medium fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
- 3 3 3medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumepine nuts, lightly toasted
- Pinch of salt
- 3 3 3tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeExtra virgin olive oil
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the basil, garlic, nuts, and salt until thoroughly mashed.
- Pesto can also be made in a blender. Blend the garlic, nuts, and basil leaves, then slowly add the oil. Blend on low to a smooth paste. Season with the kosher salt.
This recipe can be doubled very easily. At Spago we use a sweet olive oil, not too sharp and overwhelming, from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. This can be brushed over pizzas and fish, and it turns a simple pasta into something special. In Italy, pesto is generally made with mortar and pestle, which probably accounts for the name, but it can also be done in a blender, so you will find both methods below.