Produced by Alpha Grid. Executive producer Natalie Whittle.
I'm in Italy travelling to a remote village called San Fruttuoso in the province of Liguria. I'm visiting a small family-owned restaurant that's been around since the 1950s. Liguria is famous for pesto. Pesto alla Genovese comes from nearby Genoa, and this is the place to eat it.
You can only get here by foot or by boat. 15 years ago, I hiked for two hours to this place and recall tasting the most beautiful pesto dish. Today, I want to recapture that memory. Only this time, I'll have the chance to cook it with the family. The restaurant used to be right down here on the stones, but it's moved up into the village. San Fruttuoso is over 1,500 years old. Just 25 people live here during the summer months. Ciao, Claudio.
Claudio Bruno and his parents run Da Laura restaurant. They tell me the menu has never changed. His dad, Renzo, now 82, prepares the main ingredient. And here is the basil. It's the centrepiece of the pesto. Smells absolutely amazing. Tell us a little bit about the other ingredients that we need to make pesto.
We need extra virgin olive oil, salt, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.
This is an amazing pestle and mortar.
This is my grandmother's mortar. It's maybe 100 years old.
100 years old, look at that. Pesto means pestare, which is to pound.
Yes. To make a good pesto, the most important things are the quality of the ingredients. If you are far from Liguria, it's difficult to find a good basil or a good olive oil. We can go to the kitchen to make lasagna with pesto.
The pasta is, of course, made from scratch. It is so thin. Look at that, it's transparent. Claudio's mother, Mariangela, tells me these thin sheets of pasta are known as mandilli de seta, or silk handkerchiefs. Grazie.
And just 10 minutes later, the dish is ready. Mm. If anything, it's even better than it was 15 years ago. Every time I come to Italy, I think, I need to live more like the Italians. Wonderful food, plenty of wine, surrounded by your family, not taking anything too seriously. Today I learned that the local breakfast here is focaccia and onions and a glass of white wine. Now that is my kind of place.