Genovese Pesto from a Cooking Vacation in Liguria

Visiting the Cinque Terre during a culinary vacation in Liguria, Italy.
Try this versatile classic Italian sauce on pastas and meats, or even in soups. The northwestern Italian coast of Liguria is known for this delicious sauce, which is famous throughout the world. But Liguria is more than a “one-hit wonder,” it is also the home of such wonderful dishes as focaccia, farinata (a type of chickpea pancake), and numerous wonderful pastas.

View of one of the Cinque Terre, visited during a cooking vacation in ItalyBut Liguria is known for more than just the food! Have you ever heard of the Cinque Terre, the famed five linked villages on the coast? They are one of Italy’s most visited destinations, and are breathtaking to behold, as is Genova (or Genoa), the region’s capital.

See a nut-free version of pesto alla Genovese.

To learn more about Ligurian cuisine please check out our Liguria cooking vacations.

Tagliatelle pasta with pesto enjoyed on a Ligurian cooking vacationGenovese Pesto

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Cook method: Mix


  • 2 cups fresh basil, de-stemmed and tightly packed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Instructions:A bunch of fresh basil for a cooking class.

1. Place the basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are chopped. Do not over pulse them.

2. With processor running, slowly add the olive oil.

3. Add grated Rarmigiano Reggiano cheese to the pesto after it is removed from the food processor.

A jar of pesto made during a cooking vacation in Italy with The International Kitchen.4. Prepare your favorite pasta according to the package instructions, and add pesto to taste once it is cooked. Save a bit of the water from boiling the pasta in case you need to add a bit of moisture to the pasta.

Learn the difference between pesto and French “pistou.” 

Buon appetito!

By Peg Kern

Check out our top 5 delicious dishes from Liguria!

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