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Pesto! Ahhhh! The delicious bright green Italian sauce that brings life to any pasta dish. There are many variations on Pesto, but basic Pesto, always includes, basil, salt, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan or Romano cheese. Pesto originated from Northern Italy; the name Pesto comes from
Although high in fat, Pesto has mostly unsaturated fat (supporting heart health). You can prepare Pesto the authentic way with a mortar and pestle, or take the easy route and it chop fine in a food processor.
Basically all the dry ingredients go in at once. To the traditional line up, we're adding a half cup of fresh parsley to lighten the flavor, and some black pepper for a little kick.
In the food processor, we pulse on and off to create a chopping motion.
Then just let it run a few seconds until everything is a fine texture.
At this point, you can pour in olive oil. Our food processor allows us to pour in a stream, while the chopping blade runs. Some recipes add cream or half and half to give the Pesto a silky, rich consistency. Other variations add different herbs. We like sticking closer to the original recipe.
Pesto dates back to 16th century Genoa, in northern Italy's Liguria region. According to the Wall Street Journal (Aleksandra Crapanzano), Genoa's "Chamber of Commerce strictly limits the official recipe to Mediterranean pignoli (pine nuts), Ligurian extra-virgin olive oil, Genoese basil leaves, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio, Pecorino Fiore Sardo, coarse sea salt and nothing else, ever."
We think the most important thing you can do is choose fresh ingredients for your Pesto. When you do, you'll have a Pesto sauce that's "Molto Bene!" And it will go well on so many pasta dishes! Stay tuned for our quick video on "Fresh Basil Pesto" below.