← Back to Search Results
European, Italian
Pesto Recipe-20160

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 0


This recipe can be doubled very easily. At Spago we use a sweet olive oil, not too sharp and overwhelming, found in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. This can be brushed over pizzas and fish, and it turns a simple pasta into something special. In Italy, pesto is generally made with a mortar and pestle, which probably accounts for the name, but it can also be done in a blender, so you will find both methods below.

Yield: Makes a scant ¼ cup


  • 12 medium fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. In a mortar and pestle, pound the basil, garlic, nuts, and salt until thoroughly mashed. Add the oil, a few drops at a time, until you have a smooth paste.

2. Pesto can also be made in a blender. Pour in the oil first, then the garlic, nuts, and finally the basil leaves. Blend on low to a smooth paste. Season with the kosher salt.


To Prepare Ahead: Pesto can be prepared and refrigerated or frozen. Bring to room temperature before using.

If you own a mortar and pestle, use it to make this Pesto. You'll definitely notice the difference in flavor when the fresh herbs are stone-ground.

© 2000 Wolfgang Puck

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 4 servings.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

122kcal (6%)
8mg (1%)
1mg (2%)
4mcg RAE (0%)
0mg (0%)
73mg (3%)
2g (8%)
13g (20%)
0mg (2%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
spice Spice
by Ana Sortun
the-deen-bros-take-it-easy-quick-and-affordable-meals-the-whole-family-will-love The Deen Bros. Take It Easy...
by Bobby Deen, Jamie Deen
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
the-splendid-tables-how-to-eat-weekends The Splendid Table's How to...
by Sally Swift, Lynne Rosetto Kasper
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
good-to-the-grain Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
the-gourmet-cookbook The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
the-whole-beast-nose-to-tail-eating The Whole Beast: Nose to Ta...
by Fergus Henderson
flavor Flavor
by Rocco DiSpirito
lucindas-authentic-jamaican-kitchen Lucinda's Authentic Jamaica...
by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?