This uncooked pasta sauce, made with fresh basil, garlic and olive oil, originated in Genoa. Have your kids find Genoa on a map of Italy and be sure to let them sniff the basil, which is a key flavor component of many Italian dishes, before helping you make the pesto.
In a food processor or blender, chop the garlic. Add the basil and 1/2 cup of the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the nuts, Parmesan cheese and the remaining olive oil, and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Makes 1 generous cup, enough to toss on pasta.
Cooking Tip: Save 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pasta's cooking water, an old Italian trick, and add it when you're mixing the pesto and pasta together. The starchy water helps the pesto 'cling' to the pasta.