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Pesto, Born of Basil
Pesto, or better still genovese pesto, is one of the most widely known Italian condiments in the world. Basil pesto figures among the traditional food products recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, and is specifically bound to a rigid set of rules put in place by the consortium that governs its production. Basil Pesto Genovese‘s unique flavor is secondary only to its freshness and health.
Basil is the primary ingredient in Pesto, which is traditionally pestato, or crushed, with a marble or wooden mortar and pestle together with the other ingredients: Italian extra virgin olive oil, cheese (Parmigiano, Grana or Pecorino DOP), pine nuts, garlic and salt. For industrial scale output, mechanical tools are employed to speed up the process in a cooled environment to maintain the maximum in nutrition, taste and aroma.
The measure of basil in Pesto genovese must be inferior to 25%, and not exceed 82% oil. It is a typical topping for pasta or gnocchi. A small amount of the water used for cooking is generally added to the pesto to allow it to cover the dish more uniformly. It is also an excellent addition for crostini, pizza and a myriad of appetizers.