Ingredients for 5/6 people: basil30 g Parmigiano cheese30 g aged pecorino cheese1 garlic12 tbsp extra virgin olive oil15 g pine nuts5 g walnuts500 g Manfredine salt
First of all, put plenty of water in a large saucepan and put it on the stove to boil.
In the meanwhile, remove the stems from the basil leaves, wash them and then dry them well with kitchen paper. Cut the Parmigiano, pecorino and garlic into pieces and put them in a food processor with the pine nuts, walnuts, salt and basil. Blend (1) thoroughly and pour the sauce into a bowl that’s large enough to contain the pasta as well. Add the olive oil, a little at a time, stirring very slowly to amalgamate everything well.
As soon as the water boils, add salt and cook the Manfredine until “al dente”, then strain them, mix immediately with the freshly prepared pesto and serve.
This sauce can be used to dress linguine, tagliatelle and spaghetti, as well as all short pasta shapes, and it’s also delicious on egg pasta (pappardelle, tagliolini, ravioli). It’s important not to strain the pasta too much and to set aside a few spoonfuls of the water it was cooked in, these can then be added to the dish if the pasta and sauce seem too dry.
(1) Nowadays both housewives and professional cooks often rely on food processors or blenders, but real pesto is made using a marble or wooden mortar and pestle. Here is exactly how it’s done: you start by “pestare” (= crushing) the basil leaves and garlic. You crush and grind them until the two ingredients are reduced to a pulp. Then you add the pine nuts and salt and continue crushing as you gradually add the olive oil, amalgamating it with the rest of the mixture. The sauce is completed with the cheese (you can add it already grated). The rule is that it should be half pecorino and half Parmigiano, but some just use the former and others adjust the percentages according to their taste.