This pesto recipe, which comes from Liguria in the north, is cooked with various types of pasta like trenette (similar to linguine), manilli de sea (flat home-made pasta like sheets of lasagne), or with gnocchi. Here I have suggested using trofie, a pasta that is shaped in little twisted pieces.
1 bunch basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
30g pine kernels
About 50ml olive oil
60g Pecorino cheese or Parmesan, freshly grated
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water in a large saucepan until al dente, about 8–9 minutes. When ready, drain well, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.
For the sauce, remove the stalks from the basil, chop the leaves roughly and put in a blender. Add the garlic, pine kernels and a large pinch of salt and blend, adding the olive oil in a stream as you do. When you see the mixture is still slightly coarse (after a few seconds), add the cheese and some more oil, just enough oil to obtain a moist mixture.
Pour the pesto into a pan and warm gently. Throw in the drained pasta, add about 4 tbsp of the pasta cooking water and mix well. Serve at once, with a little more grated cheese, if you like.