Authentic Basil Pesto (alla Genovese) recipe made with a Mortar & Pestle

Authentic Basil Pesto (alla Genovese) recipe made with a Mortar & Pestle

Meet the Recipe Author


I’m that Guy from Naples.

As a kid, I’ve always preferred to be in the kitchen with mum rather than playing football on the street, hence my passion for my local Neapolitan food heritage. Later on, living in Southeast Asia for many years, I discovered a new culinary world that made me love food even more. I’m now based in Naples again doing online and in-person cooking classes, catering, and collaborations with local farmers and food artisans.

I’m excited to be part of the KROK family because they value tradition as much as I do, but at the same time, they don’t see it as a limit for innovation. 

This morning while I was watering Stefanie’s plants, a great aroma of basil came out. Since it was early in the morning and I had a bit of free time I decided to make my morning into a KROK morning. Once you start to use a KROK it becomes a must-have in the kitchen. I am practically using it for everything I need, from making fresh sauces to pesto or just grinding spices. There are great advantages in using a mortar and pestle instead of knives or a blender.

Let me list some for you here:

  1. Using a blender will produce heat that will interfere with the final taste of your sauce.
  2. The fast and mechanical motion of the blender doesn’t allow the oils contained in your ingredients to come out slowly and blend step by step with the other ingredients.
  3. The blades of the blender are basically cutting the ingredients and will retain part of the precious oils that would have made your outcome much better in terms of taste and texture.
  4. Using a mortar and pestle allows you to calibrate the power and the motion according to the nature of the ingredients.

I could carry on with the list but those above are the basic advantages of using mortar vs. using a blender. You can test it by yourself and believe me, once you have done it you won't come back.

What we generally call “pesto” is Pesto alla Genovese, which comes from Genova, a city of the Liguria Region of Italy. Pesto is actually a technique rather than a dressing here in Italy, so we have many pestos according to the different regions, cities, or areas of Italy.

For my Pesto alla Genovese, what I did first was to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients.



  • Frank

    Thanks for the recipe. Looks like a good one.. Wish you had listed basil in weight or volume. Leaves come in a multitude of sizes. Even on the same plant one large leaf can be the size of three small ones, and if you use baby basil or basil micro greens it can be 10 to 1. Grams or ounces would have been perfect. Thanks

  • Nin

    I love pesto sauce! Either mix with chicken salad or cook with spaghetti! Thank you for the recipe, I will definitely try it!

  • Annie

    Wow so good! This was very easy to follow and very informative. This was by far the best pesto I’ve made!

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