Pesto pasta is one of the most popular dishes in Liguria, Italy and it’s one that’s found lots of popularity worldwide! We’re talking about Pesto, about the only genuine one; Basil, garlic, pine nuts, Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses, extra virgin oil and a few granules of sea salt. All the other diverse variations floating around the world are nothing more than unsuccessful bogus or aberrations of the original.
The recipe for true pesto starts to appear only in the 19th century. During the first half of the latter appear recipes that do not contemplate pine nuts and in 1863 Giovanni Battista Ratto published La Cuciniera Genovese, considered to be the first and most complete book on the gastronomy of the Region of Liguria and in which the recipe for pesto, with pine nuts, is the following: “Take a clove of garlic, basil or, when that is lacking, marjoram and parsley, grated Dutch and Parmigiano cheese and mix them with pine nuts and crush it all together in a mortar with a little butter until reduced to a paste. Then dissolve it with good and abundant oil. Lasagne and troffie (Liguria kind of gnocchi) are dressed with this mash, made more liquid by adding a little hot water without salt.”