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The best foods are often the simplest! This Authentic Italian Basil Pesto is not only keto and paleo, it is also incredibly flavorful.
What is so special about pesto? Well, it is actually really easy to make. You only need a handful of wholesome ingredients. There is no cooking involved. But the best part of Authentic Italian Basil Pesto is, without a doubt, the incredibly intense flavor and aroma. By grinding together roasted pine nuts, garlic cloves, fresh Genovese basil leaves, and freshly grated parmesan, blended with virgin olive oil, we will release the even most hidden flavor particles of these natural products. The end result is one of the most famous sauces known to humankind!
Pesto literally means “crushed” and that’s exactly what we are doing here! While many recipes you will find online use a food processor to blend the ingredients together, I am a big fan and advocate of making basil pesto the traditional way – with a mortar and pestle. Not only does the grinding of the pestle release more of the sough-after flavors, but the activity itself feels so primal and real – it is not something you want to miss.
Making Authentic Italian Basil Pesto with mortar and pestle is a culinary experience well worth the sweat!
In addition to its mouthwatering flavor, basil pesto is also incredible healthy. It is naturally keto and paleo, and high in antioxidants thanks to the olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic (which is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, in addition to manganese and selenium). This Authentic Italian Basil Pesto can be enjoyed with low-carb pasta substitutes, like spiralized zucchini, spaghetti squash, or shirataki pasta. You can also use it as a veggie dip, keto bread spread, or to elevate your vegetables!
Tips for making Authentic Italian Basil Pesto!
Mortar and pestle. While you could use a food processor to combine the ingredients, what fun would that be? To release all the aroma, I grind up the ingredients with a marble mortal and pestle. You can also use a wooden pestle.
Basil. The star of the show is basil, so make sure to use FRESH basil leaves. If you see any dry bits on your leaves, remove them. This recipe uses Genovese basil, which is the basil with the bright green, slightly crinkled leaves. It is the most common basil found in grocery stores.
Parmesan. Don’t buy the pre-grated parmesan cheese, but instead go for a block of solid cheese. Finely grate it yourself by using the microplane side of your grater.
Step by step. Grind up the ingredients in four steps. First, crush the garlic and roasted pine nuts. Next add the basil leaves, one cup at a time. Then stir in the finely grated parmesan, and lastly blend in the olive oil.
Store. Pour your finished product in a glass container (I like to use a small glass jar), drizzle about one tablespoon of olive olive on the top, and store the closed container in your fridge for about 3 days. You can also freeze it!
Crush this Authentic Italian Basil Pesto – Keto, Paleo!
TRY MORE ITALIAN KETO RECIPES
Authentic Italian Basil Pesto – Keto, Paleo
- mortar and pestle
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 cups basil leaves lightly packed
- dash salt
- ⅔ cups parmesan cheese finely grated with microplane
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- Over medium heat, roast pine nuts in pan until golden brown (be careful not to burn).
- Combine roasted pine nuts and peeled garlic cloves in mortar, and grind with pestle in circular motion until pasty.
- Add salt and basil leaves, one cup at a time, and grind for about 10 minutes until most leaves are crushed.
- Add finely grated parmesan and combine with a wooden spoon. The mixture will look thick now.
- Add olive oil and blend in with a wooden spoon.
- Serve right away or pour pesto into a glass container or jar and drizzle about one tablespoon of olive olive on the top, and store the closed container in your fridge for about 3 days. You can also freeze it.