It will take another week to sort through all of my tasting notes from the recent week in Genoa, but I canpesto.jpg state my case in a single word — pesto. Here on the beyond beautiful Ligurian coast of Italy, pesto isn’t remotely like the rather tedious glop of green-tinged cheese we foist upon tourists here in California. Pesto is poetry composed of the tiniest, infant leaves of fresh basil, combined in harmonic proportions with lusty regional olive oil, roasted pine nuts, grana cheese and garlic. It is light, almost minty in its freshness, and highly addictive. If Genoa had produced only this one culinary icon, it would live on in perpetual renown. But of course it also managed to give us sublime salumi, a profusion of palazzi, sensuous seafood and a man named Christopher Columbus. [Pictured here is a plate of pasta, twisted into a local dialect, and bathed in the finest pesto I’ve ever tasted – at a jewel of a dining room called Zeffirino. Frank Sinatra’s father dined here often.]