- 100 g of pasta (spaghetti) for every person (or about 1 lb for 5 people)
*The Genovese serve their pesto with trofiette (a flour and water-based pasta of curious twisted shape) but any form welcomes a buonissimo pesto, (in fact, Felicità makes a pesto lasagna as well!)
- a large, large bunch of basil
- a handful of pine nuts
- a handful of grated Parmesan cheese about 1/4 c excellent extra-virgin olive oil (feel free to contact me if you wish information on how to get the BEST absolutely!)
- garlic clove (can eliminate if desired)
- salt, Q.B. (“as much as you need”)
Pesto was originially made with mortar and pestle (“pestaio” – hence, the name “pesto”) but nowadays a blender does the job. Fill blender with all the basil it can hold and add other ingredients. Blend. If too thick, add a bit of water. Consistency should be that of heavy cream and pesto should come out of blender in dollops. Color will be light green. Mix in well with hot pasta. When draining pasta, be sure to save some of the water in which you cooked it. This water can be added to pesto if needed, to render it more creamy when mixing in with the pasta.
If freezing your pesto, do not use olive oil, nor cheese when blending (add later when serving). Use corn oil or a seed oil in blender as olive oil when defrosted has unpleasant odor. Before mixing the pesto in with the pasta, Felicità adds about 2 tablespoons of prescinseua (“buttermilk” in Genoese dialect) to the pesto, to add a more creamy flavor (as did her mother and grandmother when they made pesto).
I asked Felicità about the absence of pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese) – which is sometimes used along with the Parmesan – in her pesto. She rightly pointed out that the Ligurian coastal area has never been a sheep-herding area. Therefore, “niente pecorino!” she exclaimed.