The name pesto comes from the Genovese word pesto, meaning to pound or to crush. This refers to the traditional manner of making the sauce using a mortar and pestle. According to the sticklers, this type of preparation is important to release the full flavor potential of both basil leaves and garlic. So if you’ve got a mortar and pestle on hand, wonderful. If not, this recipe works just fine in a blender or food processor.