Zero waste: A 3 -Michelin-star restaurant’s pesto

Inebriant scent of a pesto pasta. Basil, oil and Parmigiano, and it’s now summer

Among some delicious variations of the classic Pesto alla Genovese(click here for the traditional recipe), the most famous comes from the creative flair of chef Massimo Bottura, the mind behind the famous Osteria Francescana restaurant in Modena, three Michelin stars.

A recipe based on poor ingredients, such as bread and wild herbs, which become the protagonist of a creative and sustainable cuisine following Bottura’s battle against food waste.

Bottura’s recipe does not include the classic ingredients of Genoese pesto(click here, to discover the traditional recipe): pine nuts (which are a very expensive ingredient), replaced by bread crumbs( see how to make and keep  breadcrums). And in addition to the fragrant basil leaves, you can have herbs at will, such as mint and parsley.

Bottura recipe is not strict as he himself suggests you can change while making the pesto and tasting it

Original recipe : ingredients for 6 people

600 g =ca.6 cups short pasta

200 g basil leaves

120 g = ca. 4 cups mint leaves

50 g parsley leaves

50 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to serve

25 g bread crumbs

5 ice cubes

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp salt

This is what we realized ,reducing the quantity as sincerely  the 200 gr. basil were too much for our pasta.

400 g = ca. 4 cups short pasta

20 g = 50 leaves  basil leaves

10 g= ½ cup mint leaves

5 g= ¼ cup parsley

20 g =3 tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus some to serve

20 g= 2  and ½ tbsp. bread crumbs

5 ice cubes or ice water

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp salt

a ladle of the pasta water

Take a blender and work the basil, parsley and mint leaves, along with bread crumbs, garlic and 5 ice cubes. Once all the ingredients have been finely chopped, add the oil, the Parmigiano Reggiano and operate the blender again until all the ingredients are perfectly combined. Pour in a bowl and  when the pasta is cooking add a ladle of its water.

Now you can move on to pasta. In plenty of salted water, throw the pasta and cook it (cooking al dente is always preferable!). Drain and season the pasta with pesto and a sprinkling of Parmigiano.

To taste, you can add cherry tomatoes, ideal to give a touch of freshness to the dish.

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