Pesto is a close cousin of the Italian Pistou. In this Pesto recipe, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts are added.
Pesto is a classic Italian sauce, originating in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy. The most popular version of pesto sauce, pesto alla genovese, is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.
Basil is the key ingredient in pesto. It gives the sauce its fresh, herbaceous flavour, often associated with Italian cuisine.
Pesto is often used as a sauce for pasta, to which it adds its unmistakable fragrance and aromatic power. Pesto can also be used to accompany grilled vegetables, meat or fish. It can also be used as a base for pizzas, sandwiches or salads.
In addition to being a popular accompaniment to pasta, it can also be used as an aperitif. Pesto can be used as a sauce for mozzarella tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for example. It will also work wonderfully as a stuffing for small raw vegetables (tomatoes, mini peppers, mushrooms...). It will accompany your cold starters by replacing for example a mayonnaise, ...
In Italy, there are many regional variations of pesto sauce. For example, in the region of Sicily, there is pesto rosso, or red pesto, which uses dried tomatoes, almonds and pecorino romano cheese instead of basil and pine nuts.