The most famous of the Ligurian aromatic herbs, it is the main ingredient for preparing the universally known Pesto “alla Genovese”, or “Ligure”.
The best known is the one called “di Prà”, with small leaves, but the most cultivated is the one with the larger leaf. The cultivation areas are: Prà in the Genoa area, Albenga in the Savona area and Diano Marina in the Imperia area.
To obtain an excellent Genoese pesto, the basil leaves must be absolutely dry and not wrinkled in the least, since breaking the vesicles containing the essential oils on the top of the leaves would cause oxidation of the colour and aromas, making the pesto dark green and with a herbaceous aroma.