Italian Pesto and Peruvian Pesto

I hope everyone planted some sweet basil this year !!! 
I was lucky enough that my only one pot of Basil did great, also, my friend Ernie planted quite a bit in his garden and he gave me 2 very large bundles on three occasions.

The following recipe is what we all known as the Italian Pesto; it should be noted that what everyone actually enjoys as the Italian Pesto, is the Genovese Pesto, which is made from sweet basil. In reality, pesto does not have to be green, because the meaning of pesto is actually the action of pasting ingredients together in a mortar, the usual ingredients that should be present are a nut (pine-nuts are always a favorite), Parmegiano Regiano, garlic, extra virgin olive oil.

I wanted to also introduce you to the Peruvian Pesto; yes! believe it or not! Peruvian Pesto is a big deal for the regular home.
Though I am from Peru and pesto is from Italy, I grew eating it at least 4 times a month, if not more. It is considered a daily menu, it is not--and I mean it-- a meal that is only found in restaurants; it is actually found in your home, your mom's home, mother in law, aunts, friends, and of course in the little corner restaurant that serves only lunch specials every day. Stay put after the Italian Pesto, because Peruavian Tallarin Verde is really something you should not pass! 

Italian Genovese Pesto


8 cups Sweet Basil Leads ( loosely measured, not packed )
6 Whole garlic clove, medium size.
1 cup pignions, (pine-nuts)
1 cup Grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more if needed
1 or 2 pinches of salt (to your taste)
Fresh Lemon Juice


  1. Place all ingredients in order in a food processor.
  2. Little by little start blending, until all ingredients are incorporated together into a paste-like sauce.
  3. Adding a little bit more of extra virgin olive oil, you can thin it down a bit to drizzle over pasta, or keep it thick to spread on bread or crostinis, to make Paninis, sandwiches, aiolis, mix in pasta salads, grab a spoon and mix into a simple salad dressing to make, etc.
  4. Make a big batch and freeze it for later use. Just bring out from the freezer the night before and use it as preferred.
  5. My favorite: Cook spaghetti, drain and while still hot, add the pesto and mix thoroughly; some Parmesan on top, a poached egg. Yummy.

Peruvian Pesto and Tallarines Verdes


6 cups Spinach ( loosely measured, not packed )
2 cups Sweet Basil Leaves
6 Whole garlic clove, medium size.
1 cup Brazilian Nuts
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more if needed ( I just used oil when in Peru; it does taste better with EVOO)
1 or 2 pinches of salt (to your taste)
Fresh Lime Juice 


  1. Proceed the same way as before, but make it in a blender; the food processor does not make Peruvian Pesto. Laugh to my silliness, but trust me.
  2. Some people like to use heavy whipping cream, it is unnecessary, and it will get a different consistency, not authentic.
  3. Divide into 1 cup portion containers. Freeze up to 3-months.
  4. 1 cup is enough to dress 12-oz pasta
  5. Serve with: Fried egg, thin steak, chicken milanesa, lomo saltado with no potatoes, liver encebollado, chicken or fish escabeche, hot dog, bratwurst, etc. Don't laugh! all of those are a thing, promise you will like it.
  6. Update 6/8/2020 My sister said that in Itali they serve it with green beans and potatoes (mixed in)

  • I usually make the Italian Pesto and I freeze it; if I plan to eat Tallarines Verdes, I defrost my regular pesto and I blend it with 2 cups spinach and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Though I will rather do the Peruvian straight, sometimes it is easier. Soon I will get you a decent picture of Tallarines Verdes; but so sorry, we ate them QUICK

Have Fun Cooking and Enjoy !!!


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