In fact, although we often refer to it as "pesto" simply, this Italian word means "to pound." The origin of pesto comes from the Genoese word "pestare" which means "to crush with mortar." And without a doubt the mortar is closely related to the pesto sauce.
Although the origin of the pesto sauce is in Genoa, it is in northern Italy, specifically in Liguria, where basil was added, as it grows abundantly there. From Genoa the recipe spread throughout Italy, giving rise to the variants of this sauce that we have already mentioned above: the red pesto, the Trapani pesto ...
However, in Genoa they take the pesto sauce recipe very seriously and have created the «Consorzio dil Pesto» through which they ensure that the original recipe is preserved, and where they recommend making the Genoese pesto in the traditional way , that is, with mortar and by hand, using small basil leaves for its preparation.
Pesto Sauce Recipe
- 250 ml of virgin olive oil
- 125 grams of pine nuts
- 150 grams of Parmesan cheese
- 50 grams of Pecorino type cheese
- 100 grams of fresh basil
- 5 or 6 cloves of garlic
Pesto sauce is one of the sauces of Italian cuisine best known worldwide, and also one of the most appreciated when it comes to serving all kinds of pasta dishes mainly, although it is also used to serve together some recipes of meat, vegetables and fish, to which it provides a very interesting combination of flavors. It is a very characteristic sauce for its intense flavor and smell and its striking color, which makes it unmistakable. If you like this sauce, we are going to detail how to prepare it at home step by step.
When cooking this pesto sauce, the first thing we will do is wash the fresh basil well to make it clean, which we can do with running water. We remove the stems and let them drain well so that they release all the water, otherwise the sauce would be a little watery. Meanwhile we are going to peel the garlic cloves and cut them into two or three pieces each, and put them in the mortar, along with a handful of coarse salt and the basil leaves when they are completely dry, cut into halves.
With the mace of the mortar we begin to crush all the ingredients with patience until we leave everything well crushed and mixed, so that there are no large pieces of basil or garlic. At that time we add the peeled pine nuts and continue grinding with the mortar until they are well crushed and mix them with the rest of the previous ingredients, forming a homogeneous paste, with the pieces visible but without being very large pieces, for which we have to crush for a long time to get a sauce with a perfect texture. You have to be patient and leave the sauces with the right texture so that it is perfect when serving.
To finish, we pour the contents of the mortar into a bowl, add the good quality virgin olive oil and begin to stir until all the previous ingredients are well integrated, forming a homogeneous mixture, then we would have this delicious pesto sauce ready. If we like a finer sauce with fewer pieces, we can beat it a little with the mixer, but traditionally it is eaten exactly as it has been done with the mortar, since we must appreciate the pieces. When finished, we put the sauce in a closed jar and reserve it in the fridge until it is time to eat it, so the flavors will be enhanced during that time. And we will always serve it with the mixture of grated cheeses on top, to complete this traditional pesto sauce, which we hope you like.
Servings / Units: 1
Approximate Preparation Time: 15M
Approximate Calories: 410
To make the pasta with pesto, we cook the pasta according to the instructions indicated, always leaving it al dente, for which it is important not to exceed the indicated time. If we decide to make fresh pasta, such as homemade gnocchi, a couple of minutes will be enough, since fresh pasta requires less cooking.
Once we have the pasta cooked, we pour it over the pesto sauce and stir with the cutlery until it is completely integrated.
Caprese salad with pesto sauce
Any salad will be delicious with a pesto dressing, but it works especially well with caprese, tomato and mozzarella salad, or any pasta salad.
Pesto pizza sauce
Also try to include the pesto sauce once you have your homemade pizza baked, spreading it over the top, you will see how it gains in flavor.
Pesto Sauce Recipe
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