The Best Pesto

Credits :
Written by Jacob Wilson


  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • Generous pinch coarse sea salt
  • 3 ounces basil leaves (from about a 4-ounce bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Pecorino Fiore Sardo (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mildly flavoured extra-virgin olive oil


  • In a mortar and pestle, combine garlic and sea salt and grind to a paste.
  • Add basil leaves a handful at a time and grind against the walls of the mortar; it’s easier to use a circular grinding motion than to try to pound the leaves with the pestle. Continue until all basil leaves have been crushed to fine bits and have released their green liquid.
  • Add pine nuts and gently crush with pestle, then work into a paste with basil and garlic.
  • Add both cheeses and continue to use the pestle to grind into a paste.
  • Slowly drizzle in olive oil, working it into the pesto with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Pesto can be served with pasta right away, or transferred to a jar or container, covered with a small layer of olive oil, sealed, and refrigerated overnight.

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