Pesto is a traditional sauce originating in the Liguria region. With the appellation pesto alla genovese, it is included in the list of traditional agricultural products of Liguria. Its main ingredient is basil, the Genovese basil. Besides basil, pine nuts and garlic are crushed when still raw. Then, the mixture is seasoned with Parmesan, Pecorino cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Pesto is a cold sauce made with ingredients that are blended still uncooked. For this reason, the ingredients do not lose any of their peculiarities.
Start preparing your pesto sauce: wash basil leaves and dry with a dishcloth.
Peel garlic and remove the core. Pound garlic with basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt into a mortar. Add Parmesan and Pecorino cheese to the mixture and pound again.
Cook linguine in a large pot of boiling salted water with the potato cut into small cubes.
Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water to the pesto sauce.
Drain linguine and toss with pesto sauce.
The Chef’s Suggestion
To prepare pesto sauce is better to use a mortar; alternatively, you can use a food processor, whereas part of the aroma fades because of the contact with metal blades and the high speed. You can prepare a variation of the classic recipe by pounding nuts in the mixture. Together with the potato, you can add to the pasta also 50 grams of green beans while cooking.