Fresh Basil Pesto

One of the things I love the most about Italian Cuisine is Pesto. My favorite one is the Basil Pesto (Original name: Pesto Genovese). I'm going to show you how to make your own fresh Pesto, and you'll see how easy it is to make. I'm sure you'll switch from buying it to making it yourself.

There are two different ways for making Pesto: with the food processor or with 'the cooking mortar'. If you don't know, the cooking mortar is a bowl typically made of ceramic or stone and it's used for crushing and grinding. I think both options work pretty fine, but if you have a mortar, then use it. With the mortar you get a more consistent texture and I think it brings more out the flavor of the ingredients.

I have my own cooking mortar, so I decided to use it for this recipe. Of course, if you decide to use this method, you have to be very patient. With the food processor you're done in 2 minutes, but with the mortar you can take a good half an hour (and an intense arm workout haha), but I can promise you: is totally worth it!

I recommend you to use fresh ingredients, you'll really taste the difference.

I started first with the garlic because is the hardest ingredient to grind. I added the Basil leaves simultaneously, so it's easier to combine.

Then I added the roasted pine nuts, and made sure everything was as smooth as possible. You have to consider that it's impossible to get a completely even mix when you do it with the cooking mortar, but that's the trick, to have a rich crispy texture. 

After the pine nuts, I added the ground Parmesan, and simultaneously the olive oil, because at this point the mixture starts to get really dry. When everything was crushed, I incorporated the salt and the ground black pepper.

I finished my Pesto with a fresh Basil leave and it was AMAZING! After using it, I stored it in glass jars, like the ones you buy for storing marmalade.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try!


Preparation Time: 20 minutes


2 cups  fresh basil leaves
1 to 2  garlic cloves (if you roast them, use 1 extra)
1/3 cup  pine nuts
1/2 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup  olive oil
Salt and black ground pepper to taste.
Splash of lemon.


1. Preheat the oven to 170º C and roast the pine nuts for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Add garlic cloves and basil leaves to food processor or cooking mortar until smooth. Continue adding the pine nuts, grind again. Add the Parmesan and olive oil for smoother texture. 
3. After everything is combined, incorporate the salt and black pepper and add a splash of lemon to taste.
4. Make sure to storage your pesto in glass jars or well sealed containers for longer durability.

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  1. Hi Mariana,
    We love Pesto, but I never tried it with a cooking mortar, sounds really interesting. Thank you for showing -

    1. Hello Hanna! Thank you for passing by! This was for me also the first time with the mortar but I really could taste more the flavor of the ingredients and the texture really made the difference...And of course, was also fun to make it haha I hope you try it and tell me how it went!
      Greetings :)

  2. Hallo Mariana,
    Das ist was für mich. Das werde ich ausprobieren! Danke!
    Liebe Grüße

    1. Hallo Nanni! Ich freue mich dass dir das Rezept gefällt! Viel spaß damit!!
      Liebe Grüße! :)

  3. Liebe Mariana,
    das hört sich wieder mal so richtig lecker an - und frühlingsfrisch! GlG, Martina

    1. Hallo Liebe Martina!!! Danke fürs vorbeischauen!! Kuss!! :)

  4. Definitivamente quiero intentar esta receta! Me encantó tu Blog! Me va a servir mucho ahora de casada ;) Te mando un abrazo con mucho cariño!

    1. Hola Preciosa!!! Que padre que me visites por aquí!! Que tal tu luna de miel? Vi las fotos y se ve lo máximo, espero que hayan disfrutado mucho este tiempo! Y ahora ya te puedo decir: Bienvenida al club!!! :)
      Espero que te gusten mis recetas y que me cuentes como te quedaron! Te mando un besote princesa!