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Updated: Mar 6, 2021

Pesto to refer to the original dish pesto alla Genovese, is a sauce originating in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy. It traditionally consists of crushed garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Sardo (cheese made from sheep's milk), all blended with olive oil.

according to tradition, the ingredients are "crushed" or ground in a marble mortar through a circular motion of a wooden pestle.

Strictly speaking, pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding; that is why the word is used for several pesto's in Italy. Nonetheless, pesto alla Genovese ("Genoese pesto") remains the most popular pesto in Italy and the rest of the world.

200g basil

50g fresh baby cannabis leaves

200g pinenuts

200g parmesan

20g garlic

20g salt

400ml olive oil

10mg THC powder


1. How to make pesto greener? Here is a trick! Take the blades and the bowl of the food processor and put them into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes until the tools are very cold. Meantime, prepare basil leaves washing them with cold water. Finally, place them in a large bowl with plenty of ice for 3-4 minutes.

2. Now dry the leaves very well on a kitchen towel (important: the basil leaves must be very dry) and place them into the food processor (that now is pretty cold) with garlic, pine nuts and grated Parmigiano. If you will follow these tips you’ll have a very green pesto sauce. Chop the ingredients coarsely for a few seconds then add salt and Pecorino cheese cut into small pieces. Blend all the ingredients for about 1 minute.

3. Now add extra virgin olive oil. Blend for about 5 minutes, until you’ll get a creamy green pesto sauce. Pesto must not heat up, so be careful to work quickly, using the food processor at minimum speed and at intervals, that is, blend a few seconds, stop and start again.

4. Before seasoning, if the pesto is very thick, add 1/2 tablespoons of the cooking water; this way you’ll have a warm homogeneous soft pesto sauce ready for your pasta dish. You can even taste Genovese pesto spread on toasted bread, as an appetizer. Delicious!

How to Store Pesto

Store pesto Genovese in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days, taking care to cover the sauce with a layer of extra virgin olive oil. It’s possible to freeze the pesto in small jars and then defrost it in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

How to make Pesto Genovese with Mortar and Pestle

If instead you want to try making pesto with mortar and pestle, here are the steps to follow:

  1. After washing the basil leaves, dry them thoroughly on a kitchen towel.

  2. Place the garlic in a large marble mortar with a few grains of salt and start pounding with the pestle.

  3. Add the pine nuts and crush them, obtaining a rather coarse mush.

  4. Add the basil leaves while continuing to gently crush, then add the two grated cheeses and mix everything together.

  5. Soften the mixture by slowly pouring the oil until you have a homogeneous, creamy consistency, then transfer it to a bowl and finish mixing it with the remaining oil.

Some precautions:

  1. You must never step on the leaves with force, but gently rotate the pestle along the walls of the mortar, so as to tear them up without cutting them.

  2. The processing must take place at room temperature and not take too long, to avoid oxidation which alters the flavor and color of the basil.

  3. The quantity of garlic can be reduced or increased according to personal taste, but the total lack alters the original taste.

  4. Some make an addition of walnuts, tolerable variant, but cashews, parsley and lemon must be avoided.

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