How to Make Pesto

Pesto was born in Northern Italy, in the seaport region of Genoa. Today I’ll show you how to make pesto quickly and easily in your food processor. This basic pesto recipe is a traditional pesto sauce from the Cinque Terre region.

How to Make Pesto

Serving Size: 6

How to Make Pesto


  • ½ cup - 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups rinsed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh cracked pepper and more sea salt (to taste)


  1. How to Make Pesto: Before beginning the pesto, toast 1/2 to 1 cup pine nuts on a hot pan over high heat. Don't walk away from this, as they cook quickly. Shake pan continuously until they turn golden brown. Remove from heat.
  2. In a food processor, pulse basil, garlic and toasted pine nuts for about a minute, scraping down with a rubber spatula. Add the grated parmesan cheese and sea salt. Slowly blend in the olive oil, a little at a time. Season with fresh cracked pepper and additional salt if desired.
  3. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or make pesto pasta.
  4. To make pesto pasta, mix 2 cups cooked penne pasta with 1/2 cup fresh pesto. Add fresh diced rotisserie chicken for a chicken pesto recipe. Top with additional grated parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves if desired.

Recipe by Jason Hill /