Genoese style pesto" in an old mortar

Pesto “Genovese” in an old mortar

Today is one of the most popular toppings Italian cooking, but the pesto “Genovese” It has rather obscure origins.

E’ difficult to trace back with certainty.

As you know, it is a sauce made from basil especially used to accompany the pasta.

Probably the pesto was born in ambient “marinaro“.

Almost certainly it arose from the more than understandable desire of Genoese and Ligurian sailors in general, to eat sometimes something fresh and fragrant addition to the usual poorly preserved foods, excessively salty and often stale, that constituted their usual and not too palatable diet.

What could be better than the herbs, moreover easy and cheap, to be grown in the sun on the balconies of the house?

The first recipe known pesto as we know it dates back to 1863.

It must be said that from then on the sauce has always remained the same, or a mix of extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and chopped pine nuts well blended together.

The use of the mortar for “beat” ingredients instead, from which the same name of the preparation, It is much older, namely Renaissance, era in which there were various kinds of pesto, prepared with herbs from time to time different (Photo gives: damgas.altervista.org).