Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto alla Genovese, the perfect Italian flavours to make your loved ones smile.

Genova is the largest port town in Italy, and I was lucky enough to visit the seaside city a few years ago when I lived in Milan (only an hour away by train).  During my visit I had the best pesto focaccia known to man! It was light, soft and full of flavour thanks to the basil and parmesan pesto.

Genova in the Ligura region is where pesto originates from, the word "pesto" comes from the word "pestare" which means "to grind" so get your mortar and pestle out for this one because there will be grinding! As you travel across the regions, you'll encounter other pesto variation ranging from tomato-based through to capsicum-based ones, but irrespective of their differences, the recipes always call for the mortar and pestle.

It's so simple to make, and if you grind up a big batch in advance, you'll have Italian flavours at your finger tips. It's perfect to toss through pasta, add to your pizza base, and even makes a great addition to any antipasti plate.

Learn how to make the pantry essential for whenever you need a quick meal with a whole lot of flavour!

Enjoy the video and see the full recipe below.

Special thanks to my brother Matias who helped shoot and edit the video and my gorgeous boyfriend Toby who helped with all the illustrations you see in the video.

How to make Pesto alla Genovese

Prep time: 20 mins Total time: 20 mins Serves: 6


  • Big bunch of basil
  • 2 cups of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Mortar and Pestle


  1. Roughly chop your basil
  2. Place half your basil in the mortar and pestle start grinding this.
  3. In a pan roast your pine nuts to brown ( 30seconds - 1 minute)
  4. Add the pine nuts and half the olive oil, continue to grind.
  5. Add the rest of your basil your parmesan cheese and continue to grind
  6. once you have a paste add the rest of your olive oil and mix well add salt
  7. Store in a jar in your fridge should last up to 2 months
  8. Presto!

For more delicious Italian essentials visit our recipes section.

Da Tavola x