Basil, Pine Nut Parmesan Sauce

In Liguria pesto is used to dress trenette, a long ribbon pasta. The sauce was once made in a marble mortar with a pestle. Nowadays it is usually made in a blender or food processor.

Basil, Pine Nut Parmesan Sauce

Photo by

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 4

    cups fresh basil leaves

  • ½

    cup olive oil

  • cup pine nuts or hazelnuts

  • 1

    garlic clove

  • 1

    Tbls. butter

  • 1

    tsp salt

  • 1

    Tbls parsley leave

  • ¾

    cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

  • 1

    Tbls Plain yogurt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 - 10

    oz pasta, freshly cooked

  • 3

    Tbls butter to serve


1. Discard any discoloured basil leaves. Wash the rest and dry them thoroughly with absorbent paper. 2. Combine the basil leaves, the olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, butter, salt and parsley in a blender or a food processor. Blend until the mixture is very creamy. Fold in the Parmesan and yogurt. season with pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. 3. To Seve, Transfer the freshly cooked pasta to a warm bowl and add the pesto, 3 - 4 tbls of the pasta cooking water and the butter. Mix well and serve. *Pesto* freeze very well, so it can be made in quantity while basil is in season. For freezing, omit the cheese and the garlic. Add them after the sauce is thawed, just before using.


Facebook Conversations