Basil Pesto Recipe

Try this easy basil pesto recipe - Pesto alla Genovese

Many people know basil as an herb, since it adds fragrance, taste, and flavor to the dish. It is a main ingredient in Italian cooking and it is used in many soups and pesto.

Fresh or dried basil leaves are added to tomatoes, Italian pasta, meat dishes, and fish.

Fresh basil leaves have a stronger flavor, while the dried herb quickly loses its spice properties.

Here is one important tip: basil herbs should never be cooked.


basil pesto recipe

Basil Pesto Recipe

Pesto is a traditional Italian pasta sauce that originates from Genoa. Although it can be found in many variations (e.g. with dried tomatoes and olives), the most popular one is with basil - Pesto alla Genovese.

Homemade pesto is always better and tastier. You will need a mortar and a little patience. But it's worth it.


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 100 g/3.5 oz pine nuts
  • 150 g/5.2 oz fresh basil
  • 200 ml/0.8 cup olive oil
  • a few grains of coarse sea salt
  • white pepper
  • 50 g/1.7 oz Parmesan cheese


Put garlic in a mortar, add a few grains of sea salt, and crush it.

When the garlic is well crushed, add basil leaves (since basil essential oils are found in its leaf veins, it is better not to cut its leaves, but to mash them in a mortar).
When basil starts to drop liquid, add the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Stirring slowly, add the olive oil. Pepper to taste.

A piece of advice:
Pesto will retain its freshness and its green color longer if you add a teaspoon of vitamin C (powder).

If you do not intend to use it after preparation, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator in dark bottles. Smooth out the surface and pour a layer of olive oil on top. This will prevent oxidization and change of color.

basil pesto recipe

Benefits of Basil Essential Oils

Basil is grown in many parts of the world. Despite the widespread usage of basil in foods, basil essential oils are also helpful in treating many ailments and illnesses.

Basil’s primary effect is on the digestive system, and depending on the composition, it may have an antiseptic and antidepressant effect. It also works great for coughing.

It is used for mild forms of depression, anxiety, and melancholy; the mental work to improve concentration and memory; to relieve nausea, migraines, some respiratory problems, insect bites and stings; and as an insect repellant.

Because of its strong stimulating effect, basil refreshes the whole body. In some parts of the world, it is also used as an aphrodisiac.

In cosmetic products, basil is used in facial cleansers and tonics, as it increases the firmness of the skin.

If you add basil essential oils to your bath, it will stimulate your metabolism.

It also works great on tired and pale skin. Because of possible irritant effects, it has to be used in small quantities, and caution is needed if you have sensitive skin.

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