Pesto Genovese

basil patchYield: 4-6 servings

If all you want is pesto sauce, simply follow Step 2. Leftover pesto may be frozen in an ice cube tray for later use.


  • 40 grams basil leaves (about 2-3 bunches)
  • 40 grams pine nuts
  • 100 grams Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti or roasted spaghetti squash
  • 4 spicy cooked chicken sausages, thinly sliced


  1. Put a large pot to boil and cook the spaghetti in salted water according to package directions. When you drain the spaghetti, reserve a bit of the cooking water.
  2. Make the pesto sauce by placing the basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in the food processor. Process until fine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the processor on, slowly adding the olive oil, and again scraping down the sides as necessary. Add salt to taste. Start with a pinch and work from there (the Parmesan cheese is salty, so it doesn’t take much).
  3. In a medium skillet, sauté the sausages until brown. Set aside.
  4. Return the cooked, drained pasta to the pot in which it was boiled. Toss the pesto with the spaghetti in the pot. Add some of the reserved cooking water, if necessary, to loosen the sauce and coat the noodles.  Add the sausage, toss to combine, and serve.


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3 Responses to Pesto Genovese

  1. Minna Riber August 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    As basil is at it’s prime, how about some suggestions as to what else we can do with it?

  2. chezdesblog August 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Hi Minna! There are so many great uses for pesto – here are a few: Pesto Dip, Turkey Meatballs or Burgers, and Haricot Vert and Red Onion Salad. You can find the recipes in the Recipe Index. I also toss pesto with rice or quinoa for a quick side dish, use it as a topping for pizza (instead of tomato sauce), as a spread for sandwiches, or as a topping for grilled chicken, seafood and pork tenderloin. Good stuff!

  3. Bradley Charbonneau November 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    We have a frozen block of this pesto in our freezer and we chisel away at it for special occasions and savor every single bite. My 10-year old asks, “Is this one from Kristen? This is the best pesto ever.” He knows a good thing when he tastes it.

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