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Fettuccine al Pesto Genovese

One of the best-known Italian recipes in the world, apart from pizza and pasta, has to be pesto, especially ‘pesto Genovese’ which is the most famous variety. The authentic recipe requires 7 ingredients, which are basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, pecorino, salt, and garlic. Some varieties of pesto Genovese call for potatoes, walnuts or parsley. In our recipe we are using parsley which works harmoniously with the other ingredients, as well as walnuts because they offer nice accent to the flavor. Feel free to leave one or both of these out though if you prefer.

A mortar and pestle is recommended to combine the ingredients and get the texture perfect, but use an electric blender if you prefer. Grinding the basil with a round-and-round motion, using a mortar and pestle, coaxes all the liquid out of the veins of the basil, at least according to Italian chefs. The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pestare’ which means to pound or crush.

So what is the history of pesto? Well the ancient Romans used to crush cheese, herbs and garlic to make a paste known as ‘moretum’ and the first written recipe for what we currently know as pesto dates back to an 1863 cookbook. Pesto did not really take off in the United States until the mid-1980s but today it is hugely popular. This recipe makes more pesto than you will need, since a little goes a long way, but keep it in a jar covered with a layer of extra-virgin olive oil, and it will be fine in the refrigerator for up to a week. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


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