This sauce is usually prepared with fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. The French version of this sauce is called the pistou and is usually nut-free. If you like the taste of basil, this pest recipe will completely change your perspective. Once you buy a mortar and pestle, you can make your own sauce by throwing the ingredients directly into the mortar and crushing them with a pestle.

If not in mortar and pestle, you can also add ingredients directly to your food processor. As with this recipe, it is crucial to use fresh, high quality ingredients, including fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. 


2 to 4 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups basil, packed

2 tablespoon pine nuts

1/3 cup grated parmesan 

2 garlic cloves 

sea salt as per taste

Tip: If you don’t have pine nuts, you can substitute them with ¼ cup of walnuts.


  • Add garlic and walnuts to the mortar or in the cooker. Grind until small pieces are obtained.
  • Add basil to the mixture and chop until green. Add the grated parmesan cheese, then mix until smooth.
  • Mix a pinch of sea salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Shift the mixture, then taste to add more salt, if needed. The paste should be thick and smooth because, after heating, it will loosen up a little. If you prefer oily basil sauce, slowly add the olive oil until you get the desired composition.

The result of your preparation will be an attractive pesto or basil sauce that can be used in many different dishes.