Food by VICE

This Trenette Genovese Is the Original Pesto

Mario Batali's recipe is what pesto is supposed to taste like.

by Munchies Staff
May 13 2017, 7:00pm

Can't decide what to eat tonight? You can never go wrong with pesto. It's incredibly simple, it's light, and it won't give the vegetarian in your life anything to complain about.

This Trenette Genovese is basically the original pesto. Everyone's favorite green pasta sauce was born in Genoa, the capital of the state of Liguria, on the northwest coast of Italy. And in its original, authentic form, it's got potatoes stirred in to soak up the driblets of oil and beans to add crunch and a counterpoint of sweetness.

If you need any further proof that this is pesto made the way that the Italian food gods intended, just consider that this recipe comes from none other than Mario Batli, who stopped by the Munchies Test Kitchen to cook it for Wes Avila and Nick Morgenstern during an episode of Moltissimo.

RECIPE: Trenette Genovese

It tastes as fresh as it looks, and it takes almost no time to make. Just grind some pine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt with a mortar and pestle, then drizzle in some olive oil and add Parmigiano Reggiano.

You can also make it in a food processor, but as Mario says: "A food processor is a nice idea, and it's for in a hurry to make a quick vinaigrette. But the texture you'll see here—and you can see and taste that paste—it's different. It's more meaty. It's more what you want it to be."

Whenever Mario speaks, we listen.