At Barilla we always have our eye on the sauces and ingredients that are paired with pasta, and one category we’ve been seeing a lot of late is pesto. Datassential estimates the 4-year growth potential for pesto as “strong” and expected to outperform 87% of other foods in that time.
While the most common pesto by far is the combination of basil, parmigiano, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil that’s properly called Pesto Genovese, more unique takes on pesto are starting to claim their share. In France, you can even find a sea lettuce pesto on the grocery shelf! According to Datassential MenuTrends Canada data from 2022, Sundried Tomato Pesto and Tomato Pesto were among the top 5 growing versions, even in a supply-chain challenged 2021. Another surprising growth spot – pesto combinations that were “spicy” were up 22% in 4-year growth.
Looking at independent restaurants here in the US, we see an explosion of flavorful and creative pestos popping up on menus. Here a just a few examples, and we have more from our chefs on how to create and utilize your own pesto in the Test Kitchen.
The Chef: Brad Cecchi, Sacramento CA
The Dish: Barilla Rotini with Charred Broccoli, Jimmy Nardello peppers, and Calabrian Chili Walnut Pesto
The Chef: Tamara Stanger, Deer Creek, UT
The Dish: Barilla Thin Spaghetti with Hubbard squash, bell pepper and red fresno chile pesto, tarragon and shrimp roe chimichurri.
The Chef: Thomas Horner, Seattle WA
The Dish: Barilla Pasta with Salmon and Horseradish-Spinach Pesto