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The best pesto: vegetable oils, thickeners and cashews you save
The best pesto: vegetable oils, thickeners and cashews you save

Sometimes articulated prepositions change the taste of recipes. To say, a simple "alla" is enough to transform the pesto in a faded condiment, regardless of its origins and which crosses the entire shade of green in the Pantone swatch.

There recipe, a descendant of medieval garlic sauces and a relative of the Roman moretum (a sauce based on coriander, rue, parsley and cheese pounded in a mortar and bound by olive oil), was "officially" born in 1863, codified by Giovanni Battista Ratto in "The Genovese cook”(which however - utter horror! - used a Dutch cheese, which was fortunately replaced).

According to the Genoese pesto Consortium, the ingredients used must be 7:

1) PDO Genoese basil (not less than 25%)

2) national extra virgin olive oil, possibly the Ligurian Riviera

3) Parmigiano Reggiano (with Grana Padano variant)

4) Pecorino Dop (Fiore Sardo)

5) pine nuts produced in the Mediterranean area, walnuts (optional, instead of pine nuts), obtained from "iuglans regia" of European origin

6) garlic of national production

7) salt produced in the Italian territory.

Then a marble mortar and a wooden pestle, and that's it (more or less).

In the best of all worlds, all pests on the market should contain only the ingredients listed. Instead, reading the labels often happens to find in your hands not a "Genoese pesto" but a "Genoese" pesto, which opens up to a series of ingredients that have nothing to do with the original.

Sunflower oil (but also margarine) in place of or in addition to olive oil, cashew nuts (cheaper) instead of pine nuts, potatoes and cream to thicken and soften.

We have sifted through a few labels:

Tigullio use sunflower oil (34%), basil (29.8%), potatoes, glucose syrup, cashews, Grana Padano (4.5%), pecorino cheese (4.5%), salt, extra virgin olive oil (1, 5%), pine nuts (1%), lactic acid, garlic.

Saclà uses sunflower oil, Italian basil (36%), Grana Padano Dop (5%), cashews, sea salt, glucose, Pecorino Romano Dop (2, 5%), pine nuts (2%), flavorings, potato flakes, acidity regulator, lactic acid, extra virgin olive oil, garlic;

Knorr raises the percentage of basil 46%, but use sunflower oil, Grana Padano Dop 5%, cashews, milk proteins, salt, Pecorino Romano Dop 2%, extra virgin olive oil 2%, glucose syrup, sugar, flaked potatoes, flavorings, 0.5% garlic, 0.5% pine nuts, acidity regulator: lactic acid.

Fresh: vegetable oil, basil, vegetable margarine, cashews, grated cheeses, flavorings, olive oil, salt, pine nuts, garlic.

Buitoni use: basil 31.5%, sunflower oil, whey powder, extra virgin olive oil 10%, pecorino cheese, grana padano cheese 5%, dextrose, pine nuts 1.5%, salt, garlic 0.5%, natural flavors.

The problem is that, as good gastrophanics, we do not know how to be satisfied and we have no middle ground: in short, either a state of the art pesto or we might as well abandon the idea of a plate of steaming trofie.

What to do then?

Since the water will soon boil and it will be time to throw away the pasta, we save you the trouble of reading the labels and offer you a list (not a ranking) of companies that prepare and sell pesto following the original recipe.

As usual, since you have a nose for good things, we ask you to follow the basil trail: if we have forgotten someone, tell us.

Genoese pesto - The Prà pesto

The Prà pesto
The Prà pesto

Family of horticulturists (in the local dialect the nickname of the family is "I Cini") since the first half of the 19th century which has specialized in the cultivation of basil since the 1920s. pork.

In 2003 the agricultural cultivation activity (headed by the "Serre sul mare" company) was accompanied by the production of pesto, with the "Il pesto di Prà" brand.

Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, Genoese basil PDO, Grana Padano PDO, Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO, Italian pine nuts, Pecorino romano PDO, salt, Italian garlic, Antioxidant: ascorbic acid, Acidifier: citric acid.

Price: 33 euros / kg

Pesto - Company of Genoese pesto

Active since 2008, co-founders of the Consortium of Genoese Pesto Producers.

Ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil, DOP Genoese basil. (28% min), Grana Padano Dop, first choice national pine nuts, Pecorino Romano Dop, garlic, coarse salt.

Price: Pack of 90 gr: 4, 90 euros

Genoese pesto - Rossi 1947

Rossi 1947, Genoese pesto
Rossi 1947, Genoese pesto

The signature is that of Roberto Panizza, practically the Steve Jobs of pesto, one of the creators of the “Pesto al Mortaio World Championship”.

The ingredients are: Genoese Basil Dop Parmigiano Reggiano mountain - 24 months of seasoning, extra virgin olive oil, Pecorino Fiore Sardo Dop - 10 months of seasoning, pine nuts, Vessalico garlic, Trapani sea salt.

Price: Pack of 85 gr: 4, 30 euros

Pesto - Novella pasta factory

It was born as a producer of dry pasta with a shop in 1903, in Sori, a small town on the Ligurian Riviera in the province of Genoa.

Ingredients: PDO Genoese basil, olive oil, Grana Padano PDO, pine nuts, salt, garlic.

Price: Package of 130 gr: 4, 70 euros

Organic Genoese pesto - Genoese artisan

Organic Genoese pesto
Organic Genoese pesto

Organization of producers and member of the Genoese Pesto Consortium. Particular attention to organic production and in fact among the sauces produced, the organic Genoese pesto is the one that respects the dictates of the classic recipe.

Ingredients: DOP Genoese basil, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, pine nuts, Pecorino Romano DOP, salt, garlic.

Pesto Creuza de Ma 'n. 5 - Creuza de ma '

Production company located within the Pra 'basil park.

Ingredients: Genoese basil Dop 35%, olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano Dop, Pecorino Dop, garlic, salt.

Pesto - Pestone, Tortello Roberta farm


Farm of Albenga, member of the Consortium.

Ingredients: DOP Genoese basil, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Pecorino Fiore Sardo DOP, Organic Vessalico garlic (Slow Food presidium), organic Italian pine nuts, salt.

Price: Pack of 90 gr: 4, 90 euros

Pesto - Sacco farm

Family business active since the early 1800s, 2,500 square meters in greenhouses. Alongside agricultural production, he sells pesto.

Ingredients: olive oil, garlic, basil, Sardinian Pecorino Fiore, Grana Padano, pine nuts, salt.

Price: Pack of 180 gr: 5, 60 euros

Pesto - Pestopiù

Pestopiù of Pra
Pestopiù of Pra

The company was founded in 1990 by Luciana Rebuffo and Franco Fassone. Initially producers of fresh pasta and pesto, since 1996 they have dedicated themselves exclusively to pesto. The laboratory then moves from Cogoleto to Pra ', in the heart of the Parco del Basilico.

Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, olive oil, basil 25%, Grana Padano Dop, pine nuts, Fiore sardo Dop, vegetable fiber, salt, garlic, antioxidants E300

Pesto - Rocca del Gusto

Founded in 2013, it is a family business that involves Massimiliano Rocca (pesto producer for over 13 years) and his sister Donatella.

Ingredients: fresh basil leaves at least 35%, 100% Italian PDO extra virgin olive oil, PDO Parmigiano Reggiano, 1st choice pine nuts (only and exclusively from the Mediterranean area, Fiore Sardo PDO, coarse sea salt, garlic

Price: Pack of 90 gr: 4 euros

Pesto - Parodi

pesto parodi
pesto parodi

The founder is Marco Rabaglia, from a Parma family, who in 1968 in Genoa Nervi gives life to the Rabaglia Cheese-Gastronomy.

Ingredients: basil, Taggiasco monocultivar extra virgin olive oil, mountain Parmigiano Reggiano aged 30 months, Pecorino Sardo Dop, first choice pine nuts from Pisa, Vessalico garlic (SlowFood presidium), sea salt

Price: 180 gr package: 9 euros

Pesto - Cassalino Stefano

Finale Ligure company. Packaging that cannot be simpler.

Ingredients: Genoese basil Dop 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil, obtained by cold pressing, Grana Padano DOP, first choice pine nuts, pecorino cheese, organic Vessalico garlic, salt, natural preservative, natural antioxidant

Pesto - Italpesto

pesto italpesto
pesto italpesto

The headquarters of the company, which has been producing pesto for 20 years, is in Sarzana in the valley of the Magra river.

Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil 47%, Genoese basil Dop 28%, Parmigiano Reggiano Dop, walnuts, Pecorino Dop, pine nuts, garlic, salt, acidity regulator: Citric acid, Ascorbic acid, Sorbic acid.

Price: 180 gr package: 6.50 euros

Pesto - Luigina, The pesto laboratory

There are two sales points: the historic one (since 1976) in Via Dante in Levanto (this is where the production takes place) and the more recent one (2002) in Corso Italia.

Ingredients: PDO Genoese basil, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, Grana Padano PDO, Pecorino Romano PDO, pine nuts, garlic, salt.

Price: Pack of 190 gr: 6 euros.

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