The origins of pesto are somehow uncertain but some historical letters found in the archives of Genoa (Liguria) mention a dressing called “battuto d’aglio” (literally battered garlic) back in the 1600’s. Basil has been known to all the Mediterranean people since the age of the Romans, probably originating from the northern coasts of Africa.
Gourmet Pesto Sauce
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Combine and purée all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Add additional olive oil to thin sauce as desired.
Serve with lightly buttered, freshly cooked pasta.
Put sauce into jars, pour a light film of oil on top, and cover with lids.
Leave a small space between the top of the oil and the lids if the jars are to be frozen.
Refrigerate up to 2 months, or freeze up to 1 year.
Pesto, also makes a great spread for your favorite breads and crackers. Add ground beef or sausage and use it as a spaghetti or pasta sauce. Next time you bake a pizza replace the red sauce with pesto and enjoy. In addition to using as a sauce for pasta, this may be spread on broiled meats or chicken, added to soups for extra flavor, or used as a seasoning for salad dressing. A little may be combined with mayonnaise for a vegetable dip or sandwich spread; or serve over steamed fresh vegetables or new potatoes.