What Is Pesto sauce?
Frankly speaking, Pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding; that is why the word is used for several pestos in Italy. Pesto sauce is made using 5 ingredients, easily available at home or supermarket.
Ingredients Used In Pesto: Basil Leaves+ Olive Oil + Garlic + Pine nuts + Parmesan Cheese. We call Basil leaves as Tulasi in India.
The term pestâ or pestare in Italy means to pound, to crush, in reference to the Original method of making pesto sauce. According to customary Italian tradition, the ingredients used in pesto are crushed or ground in a marble mortar through a circular motion of a wooden pestle.
One of the basic ingredient in Pesto are Basil Leaves which are used proportionally high to other ingredients while making pesto. Basil is considered very noble and sacred in India. We cherish it as an icon of adoration and devotion. We keep Tulasi plant at our house entrance, while it is a symbol of love in Italy.
The English name Basil is derived from the old Greek word BASILIKOHN, which means ROYAL indicating its prominence in ancient culture. It is specifically used in variety of cuisines throughout the world including Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cuisines.
How To Make Pesto Sauce?
Google it, and you will find countless recipe. But, I will give the Original method used in Industrial Kitchens (STAR HOTEL KITCHEN).
- Take a deep bowl
- Put Fresh Basil Leaves into the bowl
- Add Fresh Garlic Cloves or cooked chopped golden brown satueed garlic
- Add Pine nuts
- Add Parmigiano Reggiano – Parmesan Cheese
- Finally add olive oil and blend them well using hand blender or mixer till sauce consistency
- Our pesto is ready
Benefits Of Pesto Sauce
Each ingredient used in pesto, has significant medicinal value. Let’s explore:
BASIL: Basil have unique health-protecting effects in two basic areas: basil’s flavonoids and volatile oils. Basil leaves in pesto sauce adds plenty of flavonoid phytochemicals into the sauce called as orientin and vicenin, which are basically antioxidants.
These anti oxidants neutralize damaging free radicals that destroy our normal healthy cells in our body. These free radicals otherwise may increase the risk of cancer, heart stroke or related diseases and other chronic conditions. Putting extra basil leaves into your pesto sauce ensures that you eat high amounts of these beneficial antioxidants.
Garlic: has many benefits. Read benefits of garlic. It controls cholesterol levels in as little as three months, reports the National Institute For Nutrition (NIN). Garlic also protects the heart by stabilizing blood pressure levels and slowing the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
Olive oil: is full of monounsaturated fats (MUFA) which are good for heart and replace unhealthy saturated and trans fats. Monounsaturated fats straightly help lower blood cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels and help in blood clotting in case of injury.
Pine nuts: are small edible seeds of female cone in a pine tree. Pine kernels are rich in essential nutrients and minerals, vitamins and mono-unsaturated fatty acids required for a healthy heart. Pine nuts aid in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
Parmesan Cheese: This cheese is easily digested and an excellent source of calcium. Parmesan cheese contains small amounts of vitamin D, which is known to enhance intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc.
Pesto Sauce Used As An Accompaniment With Main Dish
Pesto is commonly eaten with pasta dishes. In India Penne Pasta in pesto sauce is popular. In Italy, potatoes and string beans are also traditionally added to the dish, while boiling in the same pot in which the pasta is being cooked.
Pasta, mixed with pesto, has become a well-known dish in the majority of countries today, with countless recipes being posted online for pesto pasta.
With so many benefits, it is wise to make one and eat regularly to stay healthy.