Pesto alla Genovese {Basil & Pine Nuts Pesto}

Nothing says summer better than pesto alla Genovese. The quintessenctial summer dish, these vermicelli with basil and pine nuts pesto, which in Italy is called pesto alla Genovese, are proof that the simpler, the better.

pesto alla genovese, basil and pine nuts pesto, pesto, italian pesto, bowl of pasta, pasta al pesto, vermicelli with nasal and pine nuts pesto

After a week in Newport Beach overlooking the ocean, watching my boys mastering basketball and swimming, having all kind of goodies and of course the best gelatos ever, yesterday we decided to come home instead of going to Escondido.basil, basil for pesto alla genovese, basil leavesIt is not that we suspended our summer vacation, but for medical reasons, stopped at Loma Linda. Being close to home, we came to check our kitchen garden and especially our “tomato heaven” that is becoming a true “tomato jungle”. We picked the ripe ones and ate them raw. I can’t wait until harvest time. That is going to be a true tomato bacchanal! basil and pine nuts, ingredientes for pesto alla genoveseIn just a week all my herbs grew like crazy, especially the basil. All the basil varieties were blooming. I took away the flowers for the plants to grow bushier and because I have heard flowers change the flavor of the edible leaves. pine nuts, pinenuts for pesto alla genoveseI also decided to plant the sweet basil plants we bought in Newport (I was craving for strawberry and basil mojitos and bought a few plants instead of buying a few leaves for the same price.) Since there is never enough basil in my house, we built another wood bed to keep growing, gopher free, more basil and parsley.
pesto alla genovese, basil and pine nuts pesoAfter trimming all the basil I decide to make pesto alla genovese: the classic pesto with basil and pine nuts. We all love this pesto because of the Italian guy we all have in our hearts and tummies: we love basil, we love olive oil, we love garlic, we love Parmesan cheese and of course we love pasta.

pasta bowl. pasta bow with pesto alla genovese, pesto alla genovese, spaghetti with basil and pine nuts pestoHaving all those ingredients combined in just one dish is something nobody in my family can resist and this is why vermicelli with pesto alla Genovese is a must in my kitchen, especially during the summer. It doesn’t take a lot of work to do it. The whole dish, including the pasta, can be made in just 10 minutes. So, what can be better than that?bowl of pasta with basil pesto, pasta with basil and pine nuts pesto, pasta with pesto alla genoveseBy the way, I used to make my pesto alla Genovese by muddling by hand, in my marble mortar, the basil leaves with the garlic, olive oil and pine nuts. It took forever. I switched to the modern method (processing everything in a food processor, thank to my twitter friend @lesteves) and trust me: this pesto alla Genovese is ready in less than five minutes, including the time to pick, wash and dry the leaves.spaghetti with basil pesto bite, pesto alla genovese, fork with vermicelliHere is my recipe. I hope you like it!

basil flowers, basil

pesto alla Genovese
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Pesto alla Genovese (Vermicelli with Basil and Pine Nuts Pesto)

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 package of vermicelli or angel hair (capellini)
  • 4 cups of basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves pressed with the blade of a knife
  • ½ cup of pine nuts
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese grated (I used Grana Padano)


  • Put the water for the pasta to boil.
  • In a food processor, process the basil, nuts, garlic and salt to taste. While processing, add the olive oil and process until everything is well combined.
  • Pour the pesto in a bowl, add the cheese and mix well. You may need to add some more olive oil.
  • In the meantime, cook the pasta and once it’s al dente, strain it, and let some fresh water run on top to stop cooking.
  • Strain again.
  • In a big bowl mix the pesto with the pasta.
  • Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil.
Course: Pastas
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Enri


You may need to reserve a couple of spoons of the water where the pasta was boiled to add to the pasta bowl and combine it with the pesto.

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