Pesto Genovese is a traditional sauce from the Liguria region of Italy, which is made from a combination of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and extra-virgin olive oil. The ingredients are typically ground together in a mortar and pestle, which is where the sauce gets its name (“pesto” means “pounded” in Italian).
The sauce is typically used as a condiment for pasta, and it is particularly popular with the Ligurian pasta called trofie, but it can also be used as a spread or a dip, or even as an ingredient in other dishes. Pesto can also be made with different ingredients such as arugula, spinach or beet greens but the traditional one is basil, this variation is called Pesto alla genovese which is particularly famous.
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