If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to crush the garlic and nuts before adding to the basil leaves. You’ll get more flavor out of the garlic that way. Walnuts are traditional in the area around Genoa.

Makes about 2 cups

2 cups lightly packed basil leaves

½ cup olive oil

2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts, chopped

½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Process the basil leaves in a food processor or blender with enough oil to facilitate the process, until a chunky purée. Add the garlic and nuts and continue processing to a somewhat smooth texture.

Remove to a bowl and stir in the cheese, more oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Use right away or float a film of oil on top of the pest, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for a day or two.