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Linguini with Pesto – Italian Cook Laura Vitale

Linguini with Pesto – Italian Cook Laura Vitale

Enjoy Laura’s presentation of Linquini with Pesto. Something a little different for those of traditionally used to Tomato sauce, this is a wonderful dish and worth the effort. Hope you like it.

To explain further – Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy (pesto genovese), and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil,Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), and Fiore Sardo (cheese made from sheep’s milk).

The name is the contracted past participle of the Genoese word pestâ (Italian:pestare), which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle. The ingredients in a traditionally made pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. This same Latin root through Old French also gave rise to the English word pestle.

The ancient Romans ate a paste called moretum, which was made by crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together. Basil, the main ingredient of modern pesto, likely originated in India and was first domesticated there. Basil took the firmest root in the regions of Liguria, Italy and Provence, France. The Ligurians around Genoa took the dish and adapted it, using a combination of basil, crushed garlic, grated hard cheese (a mix of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino or just one of the two), and pine nuts with a little olive oil to form pesto. Each family from Liguria often has its own pesto recipe with slight differences to the traditional pesto alla Genovese recipe. This is the main reason why pesto recipes often differ from each other. The first mention of recipe for pesto as it is known today is from the book La Cuciniera Genovese written in 1863 by Giovanni Battista Ratto.

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