The GYV Chef, Mikel, is well know for his pesto.  He lets the secret out of the bag in this Food for Thought post and shares is pesto recipe.  GYV alumni, families, and friends enjoy!


  • 36-42 Basil leaves (6-7 per person)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 150 g / 5 oz. pine nuts or walnuts
  • 100 g  / 4 oz (1 ¼ C approx)  mixed pecorino, Romano ad Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 200 ml / 7 fl oz. good quality olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 

Start with clean basil leaves. Put leaves in food processor with garlic, gradually add nuts, then cheese, then oil; add salt and pepper to taste.

Ay mixture of the 3 cheeses in the recipe is ok, but the mix is quite nice. As this is a raw food the better quality of olive oil you use the better the final product. Some people like to lightly roast the nuts.

Pesto is never cooked. Cook your pasta, (1# of pasta for every six people). Some people save 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water and add it to the pesto to make it easier to coat your pasta. Add pesto to drained pasta and gently turn pasta until it is evenly coated.

At Legacy’s 30th Anniversary meal at GYV this summer Farfalle al Pesto was one of the main dishes. The entire meal was locally grown, including the basil.


You can buy fresh basil in many grocery chains now, as well as farmer’s markets. It is also easily grown in flower pots, if you’re so inclined, and can be grown indoors in the winter. One plant is sufficient.

Basil goes quite well with any dish that has tomato. While dried basil has its uses, there is no substitute for fresh. It can be frozen; either as a paste with the leaves and oil, or you can freeze the leaves in water and thaw the water out to use the leaves later.

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