We can't resist at pesto and this is one of the most authentic Italian food you may have here in Bangkok because though the basil is always really fragrant, tomatoes (other pivotal ingredients of the Italian cuisine) are seldom fully ripe and sweet as they should be.
So Pesto, I have to say, it's one of those things that you won't have difficulties to have it done properly.
Well, ok, I forgot to say that I have at home first cold squeeze organic extra virgin olive oil from my father in law's centuries-old olives trees in Umbria, and I still have nutty pine nuts from the wild pine trees that grow on the forested hills of Liguria (till they last, then I guess that any pine nuts will do, I recon myself lucky just to find some!), so maybe this is why my Pesto is always a success with friends but another reason could be that I pound the basil in a mortar avoiding the violent process in the cutter that steal away all the fragrance from the basil.
The other ingredients that I add to this magic mixture in the mortar are a touch of garlic (just a touch though, it shouldn't mortify the basil) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not Grana Padano and not anything even less then this).
The aroma that comes out from the pesto is one of those that literally throws you back. I cannot imagine which sensor it tickles but should be very positive sensors because it gives you a kind of 10 second intense happiness that only few situation in life can give.
Maybe this is why it is also called "Green Gold".