• 26/05/2024 11:58

What is pesto? Benefits of the sauce and how it can be used in cooking

Pasta and pizza don't need much help in terms of flavor, but when you add pesto, amazing things can happen. But what is pesto? The bright green herbed sauce requires just a few simple ingredients, and unlike some tomato sauces that take hours to simmer, it's ready in minutes.

ContentWhat is pesto and what are its benefits? What is pesto made from? How to use pesto

Given its popularity, pesto is also sold in most grocery stores. Whether you cook or buy pesto, it can liven up many dishes. Besides the fact that pesto is delicious and nutritious, here's what else you need to know about pesto, according to WomanEL.

What is pesto and what are its benefits

Pesto is a bright green Italian sauce made from basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and Parmigiano-Reggiano (aka Parmesan) cheese. A hard cheese is always called for, and while Parmesan is most often used, other cheeses such as Pecorino Sardo can also be substituted. Pesto is thick, like a paste, making it ideal for coating pasta noodles.

Having been around for hundreds of years, pesto is nothing new, although it remains as relevant today as when it was first created. Variations of pesto originated in 16th century Italy. However, pesto has undergone several modifications over the centuries. The variant most similar to today's pesto probably originated in the 19th century. In particular, the city of Genoa in Italy is credited with the creation of pesto.

Pesto is considered a healthier sauce due to its nutritious ingredients. It is known as a rich source of healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids, thanks to pine nuts and olive oil. It is also rich in micronutrients, especially antioxidants found in handfuls of basil leaves and crushed garlic. Additionally, the most common type of cheese used in pesto, Parmesan cheese, is high in protein and lactose-free, so it's easier on the stomach.

If you're wondering what pesto tastes like, it's a mixture of brightly colored ones. , herbaceous aromas of basil, but with the richness of nuts, cheese and butter. And, of course, strong notes of garlic.

The photo shows that pesto comes in different colors, but the classic ones — bright green, Source: freepik.com

What is pesto made from?

Like any sauce, pesto can be prepared in different ways. From substituting ingredients to using different amounts of key ingredients, no two pestos taste the same. However, traditional pesto is prepared from the following ingredients:

  • Basil leaves;
  • pine nuts;
  • Garlic;
  • Olive oil;
  • Salt;
  • Parmesan cheese.

How to use pesto

Just like marinara sauce, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to use pesto. Its most popular uses include pasta and pizza. You can use pesto as a pasta sauce for plain noodles. But, if you're already experienced, add it to dishes like lasagna or tortellini. While pesto can theoretically pair with any shape of pasta, it pairs best with longer, more complex noodles such as fusilli, bucatini, and fettuccine.

Pesto is also a worthy competitor to red pizza sauce. Swap out the red sauce for a dollop of pesto for a savory dish. We also recommend adding delicious toppings like sun-dried tomatoes, capers, arugula, anchovies and olives.

Other ways to use pesto include spreading it on toast or sandwich bread, adding it to casseroles, and baking it into baked goods. . It is also an ideal base for sauces, salad dressings and marinades. Yes, pesto works best with high-carb dishes like pizza and pasta, but it also makes a great addition to chicken and pork chops.

We all love Italian food. But many people still eat pasta incorrectly! Learn about common mistakes.

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