Pasta with Pesto
Though basil may be the most familiar to Americans, there are more than 70 different recipes for pesto from the province of Genoa alone, including a winter version, which calls for parsley instead of basil, as well as chard and borage. Some recipes call for Parmigiano-Reggiano, while others call for Sardinian Pecorino. Pesto is popular in southern Italy, too. In Trapani and Pantelleria, they make it with garlic and basil but enrich it with tomatoes, almonds and Pecorino, or mint, oregano and dried chile pepper.
When making pesto, use a quality but less robust olive oil so it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. And for best, results, make it the old fashioned way, with a mortar and pestle. The pounding together of ingredients (as opposed to pureeing them in the food processor) creates more flavor.
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