If you do not know how to make pesto sauce you have to learn, it’s very easy! Besides this sauce being delicious, it is amazing and it is one of the great wonders that give us the Italian cuisine. Do you know what pesto sauce is? It is a traditional Italian green sauce that is prepared with fresh basil leaves ground together with cloves of garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil.
Origin of Pesto Sauce:
Before knowing how to make pesto sauce we must know its origin. Its origin is located in the region of Liguria, whose capital is Genoa. It has some variants in other places of Italy. For example, in Sicily, they put dry tomatoes and call it “Pesto Rosso”. In other regions, and even in other countries, the variations are more marked; even to have milk, which to me, in particular, does not do me a shred of grace. Let’s talk about the traditional, famous and delicious Genovese, green, aromatic and unique pesto sauce, which we use to make pesto pasta.
How to Make Pesto Sauce?
The Ingredients of The Pesto Sauce:
The pesto sauce is not cooked, prepared in oil, which makes it a particularly fresh and natural food, which in turn must be preserved well to avoid losing its exquisite culinary properties. Therefore, the selection of its ingredients is important. The basil leaves should be fresh, very green and very aromatic when one part with the fingers. In the traditional recipe two types of cheese are used: Parmesan and pecorino (sheep), mixing both during preparation and, as some people do, using parmesan in the sauce mixture and pecorino uses everyone on your plate served.
The most “difficult” ingredient is pine nuts; they do not get everywhere and usually expensive. If this is your case, you can substitute almonds or walnuts without the problem. There are also recipes that do not use any type of dried fruit. The oil should be olive; part of the magic is in use. However, some people put oil on another type of vegetable. Finally, garlic, with a pair of medium – sized teeth have enough.
When to use Pesto Sauce:
It must be said, of course, this sauce is very valid for all kinds of recipes. It is great accompanying a meat, both grilled, on grill or empanada. But it is also great to accompany fish, especially fish with aromas and strong flavours, such as salmon. Although the queen of recipes for pesto sauce is pasta, that’s for sure.
Homemade Pesto Sauce Recipe:
As aforementioned, the Pesto is a sauce from traditional Italian cuisine made from crushed basil leaves and pine nuts with garlic and then seasoned with Parmesan cheese and olive oil. It is used as a sauce to accompany pasta or other dishes, or as a condiment to make other recipes, and there are many variations of the traditional recipe, which have been adding new ingredients to get new flavours and textures.
- 25 grams of fresh basil (about 2 full cups)
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- A handful of pine nuts, almonds or walnuts
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (if you also use pecorino, substitute half for this)
- A little bit of salt
- Clean well the basil leaves. Put them in a blender or food processor at medium / low speed along with garlic cloves, pine nuts (almonds/walnuts) and a pinch of salt. Start grinding until a paste is made.
- Then gradually add the olive oil until you get a uniform mixture. The best is that there is not much liquid left but also a solid block of undetermined green mass.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and stir. Try the salt, if you need, put a touch. Likewise, if you consider it necessary to be a little more liquid, you can add a little water.
- Cover well and reserve.
- If you use your pesto sauce to make pasta, with a couple of tablespoons per person plus a sprinkle of olive oil and some extra cheese on the plate, you have an amazing meal.
Homemade Pesto sauce is an easy recipe to make. It is a sauce that takes very few minutes to have it ready and usually is attached to the pasta but we can combine it with other ingredients.
Uses of Pesto Sauce:
We all know that the pesto sauce is amazing on a plate of macaroni, spaghetti, and even in a pastichio. And not only as a unique sauce, can you for example, be mixed with Bolognese sauce or tomato sauce Neapolitan. The result is superb, the blend of flavours works excellent.
However, you can also use it in other foods. Some examples:
- You can make a salad with tomatoes and lettuce and season it with pesto sauce.
- You can use it as a spread sauce for bread, biscuits and various fritters.
- Also, it is best for meat or chicken sandwiches.
- You can prepare a grilled chicken breast and bathe it in a rich pesto sauce.
- As time no cooking to make this sauce, just chop, grate, stir and mix. For this reason, you have to be very careful with garlic, since being crude flavour is very intense and not everyone tolerates it. If when you try the sauce you think it is too strong you can reduce its flavour by adding tablespoons of water one by one and trying between socks.
- You can also add tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick. In both cases, you can use the water from the cooking of the pasta with which you go to serve the pesto.
- Italian pesto is made with Parmesan and pecorino (another type of cheese) but the latter is hard to find. That’s why you can substitute it with a cheese that balances the taste of Parmesan like a blended aged cheese (with sheep’s milk, goat’s milk and cow’s milk).
- By the way, if you want to prepare the sauce in advance and leave in the refrigerator waiting to make the dough not add any cheese. You’ll do it right before mixing with the pasta.