Can You Make Pesto In A Thermomix?

Thermomix

Short answer
The results are unlikely to earn you a Michelin star, but yes, a Thermomix offers a fast and convenient way to make pesto at home.

Long answer
The best homemade pesto is made using a pestle and mortar. However, this old-fashioned method will take you three or four times as long as using a Thermomix… precious time that busy households cannot afford.

In truth, food processors, countertop blenders and stick blenders can all be used to achieve very similar results to a Thermomix pesto. The main problem with using any kind of electric gadget is that they generate heat, and that is the enemy of fresh pesto. As soon as you apply heat, you start destroying all those wonderful fresh flavours and risk oxidising the basil, turning it grey in the process.

Our recipe for Thermomix pesto is the same as the official one, but by using very specific time and speed functions we keep the amount of time the pesto is processed to an absolute minimum to mitigate heat damage. Some people, including the Michelin star chef, Massimo Bottura, swear by adding an ice-cube to offset the heat. We don't like the idea of adding water to our pesto, but we can't deny that his ice cube trick works a treat.

Pro tip
What almost all Thermomix pesto recipes get wrong is advising you to process the olive oil along with all the other ingredients. This is a bad idea because the crude action of the blade shears the oil into microscopic droplets, turning your pesto bitter. To avoid this, we recommend adding the oil by hand at the end.

Thermomix pesto recipe (six servings)

Ingredient Quantity (g)
Olive oil 80
Basil 80
Parmesan 50
Pine nuts 30
Garlic 1 clove
Salt pinch

Method
Many recipes recommend toasting the pine nuts to intensify their flavour. Our recipe has been meticulously designed so that all ingredients work in complete harmony with each other. However, if you like the additional nuttiness that toasting them brings, go for it.

Coarsely grate the Parmesan and add to your Thermomix. Blend for 7 seconds on speed 9.

Add the garlic clove and blend for 5 seconds at speed 9.

Add the basil, pine nuts and salt and blend for 10 seconds at speed 7.

Scrape down the bowl and blend for a further 5 seconds at speed 7.

Transfer the sauce to a mixing bowl and stream in the olive oil, stirring by hand to combine.

Use immediately or store in the fridge where it will last up to five days.