Time to pound. Time to support the application of Pesto Genovese, which is running for UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity status. And the time is now. A full week, packed with events, starting from March 12th and ending on Saturday 17th on occasion of the World Mortar Pesto Championship (Palazzo Ducale, Genoa), not to forget about the important regional initiatives on Sunday 18th.
The Unesco application was born in 2015. far from being merely the world’s second most popular sauce, Pesto Genovese is a Ligurian category of the spirit. The codified recipe includes at least four Designation of Origin products, representing regional excellences as well as other excellences from territories which boast historical connections with Liguria. PDO Riviera Ligure EVO does feature in. When pesto is prepared with mortar and pestle, in fact, its is up to this sweet, fruity and light oil to properly “close” the concoction. Please note that in Liguria more than 50% of the population opts for handmade Pesto. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the entire Ligurian community is sustaining the Unesco application, which is followed by the Associazione Culturale Palatifini (the organizer of the World Championship) and supported by Regione Liguria, the Ligurian Chamvbers of Commerce, the Municipality of Genoa, the University and numerous other municipalities, institutes, cultural and business associations: regional, national, foreign.
Famous “Pestimonials” have answered the call to action: now the invitation is to be answered by all Pesto lovers: “sign and pound” to show the whole world what “Pesto in Liguria” is. To this end, Saturday 17th (in Genoa) and Sunday 18th (in at least 80 Ligurian municipalities) everybody will be able to sign in support of the application and then take part in a “Pesto flash mob” in piazza (mortar and pestle will come handy). Skilful sequencing and processing of ingredients – remember to turn your marble mortar by the ears to tear PDO Genoese basil, balance the two cheeses and PDO oil – are the locals’ secrets for a glorious finale. In a handful of minutes, your Pesto will be ready.
The commitment of the PDO Riviera Ligure Extra Virgin Olive Oil Protection Consortium includes the supply of the product for the Regione Liguria initiative and the setting of a stand on occasion of the finals of the World Mortar Pesto Championship in Genoa (Saturday, 17th March).
Words are not enough to transmit the atmosphere of thrill and anticipation that is pervading Liguria in these days before the Pesto week. A mix of pride, identity, curiosity… so, grab your mortar and pestle and get down to business!
Ready to put yourself to the test? Here is the recipe of mortar-made pesto genovese!
4 bunches of PDO Genoese basil, 40 g of PDO Parmigiano Reggiano, 20 g of PDO Pecorino Sardo, 1 handful pinenuts, 2 garlic cloves from Vessalico ( Slow Food presidium), coarse salt, PDO Riviera Ligure EVO
Wash the basil leaves in cold water and dry them on a tea towel but don’t rub them. Set the garlic and the pine nuts in a mortar (marble or stone) and crush with a wooden pestle. Start adding the salt and – gradually – the dry basil leaves, gently pounding the mix in a circular motion, the pestle caressing the sides of the mortar. The typical aromatic notes of the basil will start to spread. Turn your mortar by the ears (the four protuberances). Then, add the two grated cheeses. Work until smooth and homogenous. Dilute with a drizzle of EVO. Put into a bowl and add a bit more – if the pesto appears to be too dry.
Learn more at (in italian): HERE