When I have Basil in abundance in the summer, I prepare one of my favorite dishes, which is Cheese Tortellini with a fresh Pesto sauce. It taste best with pasta, but is also delicious with crackers or baked potato
It is known that the traditional Pesto comes from Liguria, Italy, and was apparently first documented in mid 1860’s as follows:
“You take a clove of garlic, basil (if not available: marjoram and parsley), grated Dutch cheese and Parmesan, as well as pine nuts and grind everything together with a little butter in a mortar until a paste is formed. This is then mixed with plenty of olive oil. This mixture is used to prepare lasagne and gnocchi (Troffie), adding some hot, unsalted water to make the mixture more fluid. ” By Giovanni Battista Ratto
Pesto probably goes back to the Roman Moretum, an ancient Roman cheese spread. According to another theory, pesto is a medieval modification of Garum, which was also originally Roman. According to this, pesto is the first sauce made on the basis of oil.
Pesto became internationally known through an article published in the New York Times in 1944, which first mentioned the paste in the US media. A recipe was published in 1946 by Angelo Pelligrini in the Sunset Magazine. Frank Sinatra later promoted the product. Many Italian immigrants in Europe that had restaurants made Spaghetti al pesto famous.