I’ve seen a lot of recipes these days for pesto made with spinach or kale. But what is pesto and where did it come from?
The classic version of pesto, AKA Pesto Genovese, originated in Genoa, Italy and is made with basil. The word pesto comes from the Italian word, pestâ, which means to pound or crush. The pesto is made by grinding the ingredients, a method that releases the flavor and fragrance of the basil. The Romans had a similar mixture – a paste made from garlic, cheese, herbs, oil and vinegar. Basil was used much later. It was first introduced in the 1863 cookbook, La Cuciniera Genovese (by Giovanni Battista Ratto).
But basil is not the only way to prepare pesto. Sundried tomatoes have been used, as well as the spinach mentioned early. And it isn’t just for pasta! It can be used as a spread or a dip as well –
And all that being said, here is how I create the classic basil pesto….
What you need:
- 1 tightly packed cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves of fresh garlic
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup of cooked spaghetti pasta per person
How to Do it:
Coarsely chop the garlic.
Add all ingredients to a blender
Process on high until all the ingredients are well incorporated. You will probably need to stop the blender from time to time to push the basil into the mixture.
Makes about 1 ¼ cup pesto
NOTE: It freezes really well! Pack it into 1/2 to 1 cup freezer containers to take out for a quick, homemade pasta sauce!
Toss ¼ cup sauce with 1 cup of cooked pasta
Serve hot and garnished with shaved parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Delizioso!
© Copyright 2016 The Lazy Gastronome
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Yum! I LOVE a good pesto & this one looks GREAT!! I’ve got tons of fresh basil in my garden right now, so looking forward to trying this :-) Pinned.
It was great – I used it on crostini with tomatoes too!