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Best Pesto Recipes and Meal Ideas

Pesto is a delicious accompaniment to many dishes. Explore the best recipes with pesto HelloFresh has to offer.

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A little pesto goes a long way

Exploring the Origins of Pesto: an Italian sauce made from fresh basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese

Unveiling the Rich History of Pesto

The term 'pesto' finds its roots in the Italian verb 'pestare', which translates to 'to crush' or 'to pound'. This name aptly describes the traditional method of preparing the sauce. Originally, 'pesto' was a generic term for any culinary creation produced through the art of pounding. In Italy, it encompasses various pesto variations, with the Genovese version reigning as the most renowned and cherished, known for its vibrant green hue and distinct flavor.

The Evolution of Basil in Pesto

Basil, the star of the modern pesto sauce, only recently earned its position as the main ingredient. While the sauce's origins can be traced back to Roman times, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that the inclusion of basil was first documented. This pivotal moment occurred when Giovanni Battista Ratto, a gastronomist, published "La Cuciniera Genovese," a culinary masterpiece that forever transformed Italian cooking.
Dive into Pesto Recipes
Explore the world of pesto with our mouthwatering pesto recipes that pay homage to the rich history and delicious flavors of this beloved Italian sauce.

Discover the Perfect Pairings: Tips for Enjoying Pesto

Beyond Pasta: Surprising Foods that Shine with Pesto

Pesto is a versatile sauce that can elevate the flavor of various dishes, and some pairings may pleasantly surprise you. Consider stirring a teaspoon of pesto into a bowl of tomato soup to infuse it with added color and richness. But the magic of pesto doesn't stop there—explore these creative ways to complement and enhance your meals:
  • Chicken: Cut chicken breasts in half and spread pesto in the middle before baking for a burst of flavor.
  • Fish: Combine pesto with butter to create a delectable sauce when grilling white fish.
  • Pasta: Stir pesto through your favorite pasta dishes for a delightful twist on classic flavors.
  • Bread: Use pesto as a sandwich topping, pairing it with fresh tomatoes for a mouthwatering treat.
  • Pizza: Drizzle pesto over the top of your pizza along with mozzarella to elevate your pizza game.
  • Lamb: Cover the outside of lamb with pesto before baking to create a delicious and savory crust.
Explore Pesto's Culinary Versatility
Discover the endless possibilities of pesto by trying out these creative pairings. From classic pasta to unexpected delights, pesto adds a burst of flavor to your culinary adventures.

How to: Pesto - FAQs

How to make pesto?

The best advice for how to prepare pesto is to use a blender or food processor when making it fresh as opposed to a pestle and mortar, which is much harder work. Blend together fresh basil leaves, pine nuts and peeled garlic cloves together with Parmesan cheese shavings and olive oil.

How to make a creamy pesto sauce?

Because the sauce is so flavoursome, use pesto sparingly so the overall effect isn't too overpowering. Try adding some Greek yogurt to your pesto recipes for a creamier and milder taste.

How to make pesto without pine nuts?

A handy tip is that you don't have to stick to the main ingredients – experiment with walnuts and coriander or mint along with Romano cheese as substitutes for the standard ingredients. Anyone with a dairy intolerance can leave out the cheese completely.

How to store pesto?

When freshly made with no preservatives, pesto sauce should be kept in a sealed, airtight container such as a jar. It can then be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Can you freeze pesto?

Yes, pesto can be frozen. To do so, the ideal method is to scoop servings into an ice cube tray – this makes smaller portions to handle when defrosting. As an alternative, use plastic freezer bags to store manageable quantities of sauce in the freezer. When frozen, it will keep for around 6 months. To freeze it for longer, use a small jar or plastic container – this will keep for up to 12 months.
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