The World’s Best Pesto in La Cucina Italiana

We thought we knew everything there is to know about what makes the best pesto. But it turns out, Roberto Panizza had yet another trick up his sleeve!

Roberto is the undisputed “King of Pesto”. He created the World Pesto Championship, where 100 competitors from across the globe come together to create the best possible pesto with a mortar and pestle.

He’s revealed many pesto secrets over the years. For example, we know that to make the best pesto in the world, you need DOP Genovese basil, Italian pine nuts, and the smooth, mild, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil. He even told us to remove the inner part of the garlic clove to improve flavor and digestibility. What more could we possibly learn about pesto?

Best Pesto Genovese Basil Pine nuts Pecorino Parmigiano handmade mortar pestle

Well, in a recent article for La Cucina Italiana, Roberto gives us one more tip:

“A trick I learned is to remove the pine nuts and garlic immediately after having crushed them – which is the first thing you do – so that the basil is worked in the empty mortar, with only a few grains of coarse salt, on the sides of the mortar. Here, too, we have to avoid cushioning the work of the pestle, making our work less effective and making the basil suffer. Then we reintroduce the cream of garlic and pine nuts into the mortar once the basil begins to release its liquid”

Grazie Roberto for another great pointer! We’ll be following this method from now on.

Ready to get pounding? Here’s Roberto’s official recipe for the one and only Pesto Genovese. We like it best with Trenette (Linguine’s Ligurian Twin). Of course, pesto is also delicious with gemelli or another delicate shape. You can also serve pesto alongside fish, chicken or vegetables. It’s always delicious!