- 1 or 2 plump garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 cups loosely packed basil leaves, stems removed, leaves washed and dried
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano to taste
- 2 tablespoons soft butter, optional
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
By Hand: Smash the garlic with l/2 teaspoon salt and the pine nuts to break them up, then add the basil leaves a handful at a time. (If you’re impatient, you can speed things up by tearing the leaves into smaller pieces first.) Grind them, using a circular motion, until you have a fairly fine paste with very small flecks of leaves. Briefly work in the cheeses and butter, then stir in the olive oil. Taste for salt.
In a Food Processor: Use the same ingredients but in the following order: Process the garlic, salt, and pine nuts until fairly finely chopped, then add the basil and olive oil. When smooth, add the cheeses and butter and process just to combine.