If you've ever tasted pesto in Italy you know that the pesto in the States just isn't the same.
Most of the pesto you buy in the U.S. is different for a few reasons. For first, most of what you buy is machine made or blender. Of course It tastes good, but the real need to be hand chopped. If not you end up with a texture that is more like a moist, a uniform paste with l no definition between ingredients. And This pesto is something different, probably good, but not the authentic one.
chopping all the ingredients by hand is key because this prevents the ingredients from becoming a completely homogenized emulsion or paste. When you dress a pasta with a pesto that has been hand chopped the minuscule flecks of basil will separate from the olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese in places. You get definition between ingredients, and bright flavors pop in a way they don't when they've been blended into one.
Genovese pesto is famous because it is often made with small basil leaves. For us non-Italians it is easy to find Genovese basil in stores and at farmer's markets, particularly in the summer.
How to store it
There are a number of great ways to keep basil fresh until you’re ready to use it. If you think you’ll use it within a day or two, keep the basil in a jar of water on your countertop. The way you’d keep a bouquet of flowers. If you think it will be a few days beyond that, treat the basil like you would salad greens. Give the basil a gentle wash, then wrap the leaves in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, place this in a baggie, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Many Ways to Use
There are so many great ways to use pesto - but the traditional are the best. Pasta, Gnocchi, as topping on risotto, on tarts for a perfect aperitif, even perfect in Insalata during Summer!