I do not use precise measurements;
A large handful of basil leaves - 50g
A large heaped tablespoon of pine nuts,
Cube some Pecorino Romano cheese - about 25g
Roughly 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A large very fat clove of garlic.
If Pecorino Romano cheese is too gutsy for you, you can use Parmigiano-Reggiano instead. I do not add salt as the Pecorino is already salty.
Put it all in the blender, whizz it up and hey presto pesto.
I first tasted fresh pesto in Genoa. Up until then I had only had the stuff in a bottle from the Supermarket.
Palazzo Reale, Genoa
|H was invited to talk at a World Conference held at Genoa, in 1992, relating to the Laws of the Sea. This was a big affair which coincided with Genoa celebrating the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo) and also the opening of their Aquarium in the bay of Genoa. The city of Genoa were very generous hosts and we were entertained regally in the Palazzo Reale, a palace used by the Kings of Savoy, and Palazzo Bianco which contains the cities prime collection of paintings. One evening a reception was held on board a ship in the bay but a particularly memorable occasion was being taken to a restaurant called Zeffirino, famous for being the home of pesto in Liguria. The Zeffirino family have been running the restaurant for five decades and are now on the fourth generation, namely, Gian Paolo Zeffirino. We were taken around the kitchens where we were shown many of the dishes being made. We saw them making fresh pesto, and I realised how simple it was to do, this was followed by a delicious meal in the restaurant. The food at the restaurant has been served to international celebrities, amongst them Luciano Pavarotti who sang for Gian Paolo's pesto, Muhammad Ali, Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra, and Pope John Paul II, who declared Gian Paolo 'The Pope's Pesto Maker'.
courtesy Phil Tizzani via wikipedia
The Bay of Genoa by French artist Ambroise-Louis Garneray in 1810
I have just made this pesto. In a few days time we shall be travelling to a European country beginning with the letter M, the pesto will be ready in the fridge on our return.