Gennaro Contaldo's traditional basil pesto

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 clove of garlic peeled
1 pinch of sea salt
40g fresh basil leaves
15g pine nuts
50g Parmesan cheese
30g pecorino cheese
80ml extra virgin oil

Method

If you’re making this in a pestle and mortar, put in the garlic and salt and pound to a rough paste. Add the basil leaves and continue pounding it down, then add the pine nuts and finely grate in the cheeses. Continue pounding the mixture until you get a paste. Gradually drizzle in the oil, mixing it in until combined.

If you’re making this in a food processor or blender, pulse the garlic and salt together a few times to a rough paste. Add the basil leaves and pulse again, then add the pine nuts and finely grate in the cheeses. Continue pulsing until you get a paste, but don’t overdo it – the heat of the machine may turn the pesto bitter. Gradually add the oil, pulsing as you go until just combined.

Serve the pesto immediately with freshly cooked pasta, or place in an airtight jar and cover with a little oil so it doesn’t dry up. Store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks until needed.

Taken from The Pasta Book, published by Michael Joseph. Recipe © Gennaro Contaldo. Photography © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited 2015, by David Loftus.

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