The real difference between red pesto and green pesto

You've probably heard the saying, "pesto is the besto." Or maybe you haven't, but that's okay, too. A simple Google search will yield tons of results (including The New York Times) for different pesto recipes , what to make with pesto (from Key Ingredient), and even vegan versions of pesto (via Minimalist Baker). Reddit users from the US have claimed to love the little green sauce — one user even revealed that pesto is their favorite sauce.

According to Splendid Recipes and More, the word pesto comes from the Italian pestare, which means to pound or crush (an apt name, really). This mighty, little sauce that can be found on anything from pasta to sandwiches to potatoes, hails from the beautiful seaside city of Genoa in the Northern Italy region (via BBC Food). Oliviers & Co states that the sauce was created in the 16th century and only requires a few fresh, top notch ingredients crushed using a mortar and pestle. And you don't even have to cook it until you're ready to use it in a dish (via BBC Food).

So, what's the difference between the two sauces?

Red pesto, green pesto. The difference? Simple: the tomatoes. The tomatoes not only affect the color of the sauce, but they also alter the taste, making it richer, according to one Mumsnet user. Green pesto sauce requires basil, pine nuts, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, and garlic (via Splendid Recipes and More). You combine all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle, proceed to take out all your frustrations on it, and — voila! You have your very own pesto sauce.

Red pesto sauce is made with a lot of the same elements, except you switch out the basil for the tomatoes, according to Great Italian Chefs. Some red pesto sauces may call for sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, pimiento, or some mix of the latter (via BBC Food). Which pesto is the better? That depends on the personal preference of the person cooking it and eating it. Some people prefer the green pesto, stating that if they wanted tomato in their sauce, well, they'd eat something with tomato in it (via The Student Room). Others prefer the red pesto, as they feel that green pesto tastes bland. Regardless of which you choose, your meal will be delizioso.