Genovese pesto (Pesto alla genovese)

As said few posts ago it's time for basil: what recipe can give all the best from this herb if not Genovese pesto?

It's worldwide famous but often the one you buy at supermarket is: expensive, made with low quality oils, low percentage of basil or dried basil, cashew nuts instead of pine-kernels.

Having a good and healthy pesto is not that difficult, so why don't you give a try?

To prepare a real pesto you should have a lot of patience and a marble mortar and pestle.
Probably you don't have it (I don't have it!) and then I'll give a quick solution at the end of the recipe, but it's an Italian kitchen blog so let's have the traditional recipe first!

Ingredients / 6 persons:

about 20 oz.. pasta ( trofie as seen in the photo are the best but you can also use linguini, spaghetti, gnocchi, penne)

a big bunch of fresh basil (tradition says 30 basil leaves each garlic clove, of course it's up to you at the end)

a glass of extravirgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 spoon pine-kernels

3 spoons of grated cheese ( parmesan, grana padano or pecorino from tuscany, sicily or sardinia: your choice)

a little salt

Important things to know before starting: you should end the preparation as soon as possible to avoid oxidation and having it at enviroment temperature.

Wash basil leaves in cold water, let them dry on a kitchen napkin.

Put a garlic clove in the mortar, crush it and then add, little by little, the leaves: the movement of the pestle should be round and gentle, you haven't to crash leaves, it's the only way to let basil's essential oils spread at their best.

Add salt (big grains, just some).

When you see a green juice comes from leaves it's time to add pine-kernels: they help to mix the sauce and give a gentle flavour.

Turn pestle again and again and then you can add cheese and oil very slowly while mixing.

Now your pesto is ready to give taste to your dish, just remember to save some spoons of the cooking water when drain the pasta: they'll help amalgamating pesto sauce and pasta and have a creamy and soft Italia dish.

Ok now...What can you do if you don't have a mortar and/or no time to act like a 19th century cook?

Whas the leaves, put all the ingredients into a mixer and then mix untill you have a fine cream.

Not to much or the basil and oil become hot with the mixer's turning and it's really bad.

It's not the perfect way of which a Ligurian would be proud of , but it's good enough to invite your friend for dinner and save your wallet and your health in a tasty way!



And once again holidays are finished.

I' m tired, as usual, more than when I started them but I' m sure I' ll manage my routine once again...Sooner or later!

Thailand is a beautiful country but maybe I wasn't prepared to the mess of Bangkok, I' m still thinking if I liked it or hated it.

Surely it's great for shopping, no dubt about it, but just because of it at the very end you spend more than in more expensive countries!

Now I have to unpack my luggage and manage jet lag, back soon with some tasty recipes!

Greeting, Claudia.


Basil (Basilico)

I had some suggestions about what to put in this blog.

Some ask me to learn more about typical Italian herbs and spices.

I'll start with basil: it's the king of all the herbs used in our dishes, I love it so much!

Basil has got so many varieties: little leaves - Ocimun minimum-(the most common here), big leaves (each leaf could be 10 cm!), violet basil (it's of a deep violet with pink flowers, it's a little bit spicy and good in salads).

It's quite easy to grow up: you can plant seeds in a pot around march-april, water often and keep it in a very sunny position: on july- august you'll have leaves enogh to be conserved in freezer all year long.

Basil doesn't like long cook: you have to use it fresh if you want his best, in hot preparation put leaves just a minute before serving.

It's the king of herbs so it's not ok to be mixed with others like rosemary or oreganon.

The most well-known recipe with basil is PESTO ALLA GENOVESE: it's fantastic but unluckly long to prepare, the ones you buy at supermarked usually have dried basil and many chemical flavours, nothing compared to the real one (recipe will come soon!).

Do you usually use basil only in tomato sauce?

Try it in a pasta fresh salad: cook pasta, drain it, let it get cold, then chop tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in tiny pieces, add extravirgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves and mix the pasta.

It's a great lunch or dinner douring the hottest day of summer!!

More recipes to come, now holidays are everyday nearer!! :)



Happy to say I'm a new member of this nice site: it's a great source for whom wants to trade postcards and know something from all over the world.

My firsts postcards arrived in the past days, I hope to receIve some back before leaving to Bangkok: on 12th I'll start my holidays in Thailand with my husband and a couple of friends.

We'll stay a week in Bangkok and ten days in Samui, having some seaside holidays.

So I'll not able to update this blog until my return, on 31st (and even more, because of jet lag!).


Peruvian coffee cream (Crema peruviana al caffè)

I must admit I've been so lazy!

This blog hasn't got an update since the end of april, big shame but I was very busy and a little bit not motivated beacuse of the very few visits.

But I have to say the same story was for my Italian blog and now it's quite appreciated!

Then I'm here to write again now and then, probably this will be the only update untill september because I'm ready to leave to Bangkok for my summer holiday.

You know it's an Italian kitchen blog, then you may ask why I post you a creamy dessert from Peru'...

Well I don't really know why this sweet is called peruvian but the ingredients fit perfectly the Italian taste and I found it on an Italian cooking newspaper! :)

Boil gently half a liter of milk with 3 1/2 oz. of sugar, a vanilla stick and ten whole coffee seeds.

Filter milk and let it get warm.

Caramel in a pan 2 1/2 oz. of sugar with half a glass of water, add 3 1/2 oz. of black chocolate and melt it well.

Wait untill this is almost cold then add the milk, 3 eggs and mix 'till you have a soft cream.

Put this cream in single servings bowls, put on a leak with a little water on the bottom the cook "bagnomaria" for about 30 minutes at medium temperature.

Serve it cold, with some chocolate coffee seeds on top.