August 3, 2021
Today is National Watermelon Day, and in honor of one of our favorite summer foods we're featuring five amazing ways to use this summer staple.…Read This Post
Summer has not officially started at our house – that doesn’t happen until next week, when school is out. But the weather sure feels like summer, and the produce is definitely making us think of the wonderful flavors that summer has to offer. One of the first signs of summer in our family is the reappearance of pesto as part of our weekly meals. My boys are not big fans of anything green, but they both love pesto! We have it on pasta, on pizza, on sandwiches—and yes, I count it as part of their vegetable allowance for the day!
The basil is definitely growing in our garden already, although I don’t yet have enough to harvest for a batch of pesto, so I still have to supplement with store-bought basil. Of course, the Ligurians think that you can only really make pesto with Genovese basil, which has smaller leaves and a more pronounced flavor than the varieties you will commonly find in the U.S. Genovese basil seeds are easy to find, however, so you can order them and grow it yourself!
Most people think that pine nuts (or more rarely walnuts or almonds) are a main ingredient in pesto, and frankly, that makes it hard to pack in lunches, as my kids go to a nut-free school. But the fact is, Ligurian pesto is often made without nuts. Throw a few handfuls of basil in the food processor with some garlic and olive oil, them mix it with cheese – it makes for a wonderfully smooth, herbal dressing to any meal!
This recipe is from one of our favorite cooking vacations in Liguria. If you can find Sardinian “pecorino” (sheep’s milk cheese), use it, but Pecorino Romano is usually easier to find.
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes (depending on type of pasta)
Cook method: boil
How do you like your pesto? With or without nuts? Extra garlicky?
Check. out other pasta recipes:
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.