Pesto alla Genovese

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound dried or fresh farfalle pasta

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. In a large bowl, toss pasta with pesto. Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid if pasta seems to dry. Serve immediately.
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