Upgrade Your Pesto Game!
Looking to switch up your traditional pesto sauce? Check out this recipe for your next meal!
Let's first learn a little about pesto. Originating in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy, pesto comes from the word pesta, which means to pound or crush. The traditional pesto that we think of is called pesto alla Genovese and is classified by using a combination of garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. These ingredients are crushed together using a mortar and pestle to create the sauce. Since pesto is a generic term for pounding or crushing, the word can be used to describe a variety of different sauces.
Throughout history, pesto sauces have grown and expanded and a variety of different nuts, cheeses, and bases such as avocado, parsley, and spinach have been used. Pesto sauces are traditionally used with pasta noodles but is also commonly used as a sauce for meats.
Here is how to put together the traditional pesto alla Genovese, the traditional way:
Using the mortar and pestle crush garlic and pine nut, crush until a paste has formed
Wash and dry basil leaves, add to a mortar and crush until leaves become a creamy consistency
This step might have to be done in stages
Add salt and crush together
Next crush in the shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Finally, add in the olive oil to help develop the right consistency
Aim to use right away, pesto does not need to be heated. The heat from the pasta will warm it up. You can also store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To save up on time and energy, try using a food processor to combine all ingredients.
Let's Change It Up!
We've taken the traditional pesto sauce and made some changes. This rendition turns out to be a savory, creamy, and delicious green sauce.
Plain Greek yogurt
Extra virgin olive oil
Pasta noodle of choice
Check out our Food Stats: Spinach, to learn more about the benefits of incorporating spinach into your diet.