Valentina Harris, food writer and broadcaster, is an authority on traditional Italian cooking.
Ligurian Pesto/Pesto Ligure
Makes enough to dress 500g pasta
2 or 3 large handfuls leaves fresh basil, washed but not bruised, dried carefully
large pinch rock salt
2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 handful pine kernels
2 to 6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
about 1/2 wine glass best quality olive oil
salt and pepper
If you use a pestle and mortar, remember to press the basil leaves against the sides: do not bang downwards as is usual when using this utensil. Put the basil, salt and garlic into the mortar or food processor and reduce to a smooth green puree. Add the pine kernels and cheese and blend these in also, then begin to add the oil a little at a time, until you have reached a smooth, creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper and use as required.
Pasta with yellow pepper pesto/Pasta al pesto di peperone giallo
A lovely sauce, made in the food processor and then tipped over piping hot pasta.