I spent the whole day outside that day. Walking in the garden and working on the balcony: I first made Pesto, but since I wanted to try it later in a traditional way, I decided to make trofie as well. Both are recipes that take a few hours, especially the pasta, but I didn’t even think about that and just went for it. My nephew wanted to help me to make the trofie and wanted to eat them all raw; at evening he tasted them cooked and didn’t like them anymore. We, on the other hand, liked this dish, Trofie al Pesto, a lot. I was so happy and enthusiastic about the result that I want to share with you the recipes.
Today I will share the recipe of traditional Pesto alla Genovese. In an upcoming post I will show how to make Trofie.
My first attempts at making pesto, a few years back, consisted in cutting the basil very thinly with a mezzaluna, then I added salt and olive oil and that was it. Although the ‘pesto’ was good, it was never the original pesto. First of all, the basil leaves shouldn’t be cut, since oxidation would make the leaves turn dark; the leaves should be pressed by using a mortar instead (preferably a marble one, which unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere this time). Then, of course, the ingredients; basil and olive oil are certainly the main ingredients, but the cheeses and the pine nuts are essential since they make this sauce creamier.
You will need a lot of patience since the process of pressing the ingredient is quite lengthy, but rewarding.
Pesto alla Genovese
50 g (0,11 lbs) basil
60 g (6 TBSP) parmiggiano reggiano (cheese)
20 g (2 TBPS) pecorino (cheese)
15 g (1 TBSP) pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
a pinch of salt
extra virgin olive oil (ca. 100ml/6 TBSP)
The basil leaves should not be rinsed, but only wiped with a clean towel.
First of all put the two garlic cloves in the mortar and add a pinch of salt. Crush the cloves until creamy. Add the basil leaves and another pinch of salt and start pressing. Turn the mortar in the opposite direction you are turing the pestle in, the process will go faster. Keep on pressing until the leaves become a paste.
At this point you can add the pine nuts. Press until they have been reduces as well. Start adding the cheeses, a little at the time. Stir until well blended and creamy.
The last simple step is to add the extra virgin olive oil. This makes the sauce smooth. Stir the sauce becomes homogeneous and even. Put into a jar, or in tiny jars like I did.