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Oct 14, 2009 01:07 PM

Pesto- Pasadenda Porta Via Foods

Hi all,

This post is about the Pesto you can buy in the take-away fridge at Porta Via foods, it's delicious and I need help figuring out why-

I am trying to figure out just how Porta Via Foods in Pasadena makes their wonderful Pesto, it's bright green and the flavor is equally bright. I have never had pesto (not the take home variety anyway) that is that good. I make my own from our own homegrown basil and mine is never that bright green color, it is always a dark green and slightly bitter. I use Basil, Olive Oil, Lemon, PIne nuts, salt, and I usually thin it with the starchy pasta water

Has anyone else had it? Any ideas on why it is so good?

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  1. It is good. I have a container of it in my fridge right now; it's great to use on paninis, tossed with pasta, and I also like to spread it on top of a piece of fish (e.g., halibut) before baking. Yum!

    As for how they keep it so bright green, I'm guessing it's the lemon. Oh, and there's some cheese in there (either Pecorino Romano or Reggiano parmesan, I figure), which may also contribute to its lovely hue as well as eliminating any bitterness. I think it's got garlic, too.

    1. I've never had a good store-bought pesto, so this thread intrigued me. I sent Porta Via Foods ( ) a quick email asking for their ingredients, and they speedily replied: "Fresh basil, Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper, Splash of FRESH lemon juice." That's not quite the classic recipe of Marcella Hazan (basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, parmesan, pecorino, and butter), but the recommendations here make me want to give it a try. By the way, I haven't heard of lemon juice in pesto before, but I'll bet that's why the sauce is bright green.

      Porta Via Italian Foods
      1 W California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harry Nile

        I believe there are quite a few recipes that list lemon juice as an optional ingredient in pesto. I use it when I make pesto because it contrasts nicely with the richness of the pine nuts, but that's just me ...