Basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, salt, and extra virgin olive oil: this is the recipe for the most famous green sauce in the world. Pesto Genovese, with its simple and genuine ingredients, is without a doubt one of the foods that has helped spread the word about typical Ligurian products around the world. Creamy and with an intense and characteristic flavor, Pesto Genovese is a perfect accompaniment to first courses like pasta and potato gnocchi. It has a simple, but strict, preparation, with roots in ancient tradition.
Since then, the traditional formula has not undergone noticeable changes, although you can find some variations, such as the addition of boiled potatoes and green beans.
The preparation of an authentic “Pesto alla Genovese” still requires the inevitable marble mortar and pestle, which is essential for a perfect sauce. As for the basil, you must use the “D.O.P.” (Protected Designation of Origin) Genoese variety characterized by an intense aroma, a soft color and oval leaves of small to medium size. Purists, use the basil from Pra’, which has been grown since ancient times in the zone of the same name in the Ligurian capital. As far as extra virgin olive oil, traditional recipes recommend “Riviera Ligure”, also of Protected Designation of Origin, and Vassalico garlic typical of the province of Imperia. Not to mention coarse salt, pine nuts and parmesan, or in the alternative, pecorino.
After carefully choosing ingredients, the procedure is so accurate that the Consortium of Pesto Genovese reserves the label of “Pesto alla Genovese” only for those who strictly respect it.