"Is it all about the basil?
Solo Italiano chef Paolo Laboa’s name has become synonymous with pesto ever since he and his sous-chef, Danny Bowien, won the World Pesto Championship in 2008. They took Laboa’s mother’s recipe to Genoa for the competition and brought their first-place win back to San Francisco, where they worked at the time. Now mandilli di seta al vero pesto Genovese is the most popular dish at Solo Italiano: silky “handkerchief ” pasta with Laboa’s ethereal blend of sweet Genovese basil, Mediterranean pine nuts, Pecorino Sardo, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, and olive oil from Liguria. Its bright green color and herbaceous aroma hint at the complex flavor, making it a must-try. But Laboa’s talent extends far beyond this signature dish."