Pesto sauce is a deliciously flavorful staple in Italian cuisine for good reason. It's a tasty sauce made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and various Italian spices. Its easily customizable recipes have spawned countless pesto recipes around the world. Pesto sauce is a great alternative to traditional red sauces commonly used within Italian cuisine, which is partially why it’s skyrocketed in popularity since leaving Italy and entering Italian-American cuisine.
What is in pesto sauce?
Pesto sauce is a light, flavorful sauce that is fairly easy to make if you’ve gathered the correct ingredients. The word “pesto” means “to pound” or “crush” which gives you a great reference for how it is traditionally prepared. In its most classical preparation, it’s made using a mortar and pestle. But listen, no one at Pirro’s will judge you if you use a food processor. While recipes will vary widely based on taste preferences, these are the most common ingredients found in pesto sauce:
- Olive oil
- Pine nuts
- Hard cheese, typically parmesan
Our Pesto Pomodoro sauce is made with a unique twist on traditional pesto recipes, using fresh Pomodoro tomatoes, onion, olive oil, basil, and rich parmesan cheese, with only the freshest ingredients.
What Does Pesto Sauce Taste Like?
Most often, pesto is a thick, green sauce that boasts a bright and herbal flavor profile from the basil, combined with a salty and rick kick from the pine nuts and cheese. The garlic is also present, with a delicious earthiness found when using quality-made olive oil. As for Pirro’s pesto, you’ll also enjoy the slight tangy aftertaste from the Pomodoro tomatoes.
What is Pesto Sauce Used For?
The beautiful part of pesto sauce is its amazing versatility. Pirro’s isn’t one to dictate how you should use your favorite pesto sauce, but it tastes amazing and clings perfectly to pasta dishes using Bucatini, Capellini, thinner Spaghettini, and Fettuccine. Pesto also tastes amazing as a pizza sauce for those that wish to ditch a tomato-based pizza or a dipping sauce for fresh bread.
Different Types of Pesto
When one thinks of pesto sauce, a green, herb-filled sauce will automatically come to mind. While that type of pesto is by far the most common of its variations, that doesn’t mean that the options end there. Especially in Italy, countless pesto recipes have spawned throughout the years. Here are a few of the most common types of pesto so you can choose which strikes your fancy the most!
Pesto Alla Genovese
The pesto sauce that is universally considered is pesto alla genovese, the reigning king of the variety of pesto sauces. This is a green sauce made with a combination of basil, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil. Odds are that if you order a pesto dish at an Italian-American restaurant, you’ll be served a pesto of this variety.
Pesto alla Trapanese
Pesto alla trapenese is the Sicilian’s take on pesto sauce, which is a lighter and fresher tasting pesto compared to Italian-American or northern Italian varieties. While traditional pesto sauces will use pine nuts, pesto alla trapanese substitutes those with almonds and will be finished with the inclusion of fresh tomatoes. In Sicily, it’s common to use Pachino tomatoes, which are sweet and small tomatoes akin to a cherry tomato. This makes for a brighter and lighter flavor in the long run, with a touch of sweetness as well.
Pesto rosso translates to “red pesto” and is a variation of pesto that commonly uses sun-dried tomatoes and almonds rather than pine nuts. The recipe combines to create a rich red color, perfect for those that might want a happy medium between a traditional red sauce and a green pesto sauce. For those that like their sauces with a kick, many will add red pepper flakes and rosemary to the sauce, giving it a spicy and smoky aftertaste.
Pesto modenese is the biggest step away from traditional pesto recipes, perfect for those that want a robust meaty taste within their sauce. Hailing from the northern regions of Italy, this pesto doesn’t use olive oil but rather lardo, a cured salumi that is pureed with the other common pesto ingredients. Pirro’s Pesto Pomodoro is a great example of this pesto type, as it’s creamy and deliciously hearty. Since this combination produces a thicker and creamier pesto sauce, it’s common to see it used for spreads on pizza or bread rather than pasta dishes.
Use Pirro’s Pesto Pomodoro Sauce For Your Next Dinner!
Cooking is meant to bring loved ones together, and with Pirro’s Pesto Pomodoro sauce, you’re able to take mealtime to an entirely new level. All Pirro’s Sauces boast delicious and authentic Italian flavors, using only the freshest US-sourced ingredients. Pirro’s sauce recipes have been passed down through three generations of the Pirro family, painstakingly refined to perfection. We take no shortcuts to delicious pesto flavors. Shop Pirro’s Sauces today to elevate the way you think of Italian cuisine.