…or how to transform the “simple” basil into a royal dish!
Its ancestor is the ancient Roman moretum: a sauce of garlic, aromatic herbs and dry cheese pounded in a mortar, although the first written recipe for Genoese pesto dates back only to 1865.
Today “the magnificent seven ingredients” of real pesto are: fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, pecorino, parmesan, salt and lots of good extra virgin olive oil. It generally accompanies the “trofie”, small curls of fresh pasta prepared without eggs, or the “trenette”, spaghetti with a flattened shape to capture as much sauce as possible, as well as the traditional “mandilli de sea” (silk handkerchiefs), very thin sheets of pasta.
Curiosity: If your pesto is “advantaged” do not be surprised to find in the pasta an addition of wholemeal flour or chestnuts and potatoes and green beans boiled in the cooking water.