Pesto sauce recipes overview


Pesto sauce recipes overview

For this recipe you will need:
fresh sweet basil
extra-virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Pecorino Sardo
crushed garlic
Italian pine nuts (pinons)
coarse salt

Pesto in Italian means crushed with pestle.

The famous Italian sauce was so named because, traditionally, ingredients were crushed with a pestle in a mortar.


Pesto sauce ingredients are on Donald Evans’ artistamp “Pesto production promotion”, 1968
Pesto sauce ingredients are on Donald Evans’ artistamp
“Pesto production promotion”, 1968

To prepare 1 cup of Basil Pesto, put pinons (¼ cup) and 2 cloves garlic in a mortar and pound them thoroughly.
Then, add to the mortar 2 cups of fresh sweet basil leaves with coarse salt to taste and pound ingredients again until required texture. Wash and pat dry the basil before pounding.
Transfer the Pesto in a large bowl.
Grate ¼ cup of Parmesan and equal amount of Pecorino Sardo. Put all the cheese in the bowl, add ½ cup of olive oil and mix until smooth.
The Basil Pesto is ready!


Basil Pesto Sauce
Basil Pesto Sauce

To ease the process of cooking the sauce, many cooks use a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle.

There is a red variety of Pesto when sauce is also added with fresh or sun-dried tomatoes.


Tomato Pesto and other varieties of the sauce

Tomato Pesto and other varieties of the sauce


An abundance of Pesto recipes differ from the classic variant by adding and replacing different ingredients.

All varieties of pesto sauce can be served immediately or covered with a layer of olive oil and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also make the stock for the winter, by freezing a sauce.


Artichoke pesto in a glass jarArtichoke pesto in a glass jar

There is also Pumpkin Seed Pesto which is popular in Austria and many more recipes you can create yourself.

The popularity of Pesto sauce is explained not only by the diversity of recipes, but also the breadth of use. Examples of the different uses of the sauce are seen in the pictures below.

Pesto open sandwiches based on bread, toast, cracker and polenta circles:


Baguette with fresh PestoCrackers with Pesto sauce
Baguette with fresh Pesto

Crackers with Pesto sauce


Toasts with Tomato PestoBasil Pesto & cheese toast made with olive oil Polenta circles with Basil Pesto
Toasts with
Tomato Pesto
Basil Pesto & cheese toast made with olive oil 

Polenta circles with Basil Pesto

Pesto may successfully complement filling to different pastries and dishes:


Tomatoes filled with a pesto and avocado mixturePita sandwich with basil pesto
Tomatoes stuffed with a pesto and avocado mixture

Pita sandwich with basil pesto 


Basil pesto stuffed pork loin with roasted potatoes Italian-style sub sandwich with basil pestoPesto stuffed eggplant rolls
Basil pesto stuffed
pork loin
 with roasted potatoes 
Italian-style
sub sandwich with
 basil pesto
Pesto stuffed
 eggplant rolls 

Pesto is often used directly as a sauce when added to pasta dishes, salads, meat, fish and seafood:


Penne pasta with basil pesto sauce topped with basil leavesFusilli pasta with pesto sauce and Parmesan shavingsSpaghetti & duck breast with pesto sauce
Penne pasta with basil pesto sauce topped with basil leaves


Spaghetti & duck breast with pesto sauce 

Salmon steaks spread with pesto sauce and sprinkled with grated Parmesan before roastingPesto grilled shrimpFried chicken breasts served with pistachio pesto sauce
Salmon steaks spread with pesto sauce and sprinkled with
grated Parmesan
 before roasting
Pesto grilled shrimp

Fried chicken breasts served with 

pistachio pesto sauce  


Beetroot carpaccio with goat cheese and pesto sauce Roasted potato slices with pesto sauceOctopus garnished with rizotto nero and pesto sauce

Roasted potato slices with 
pesto sauce

Octopus garnished with rizotto nero and 

pesto sauce


Pesto sauce is perfectly combined with Caprese salad, especially with its winter variety


Winter Caprese salad with pesto
Winter Caprese salad with pesto

Lasagna, focaccia and pizza are also dishes which combine well with pesto sauce:


Lasagna with pestoFocaccia with parsley and mint pesto sauce Basil Pesto Pizza
Lasagna with pesto

Basil Pesto Pizza

You can find pesto also in savory cookies and cheeses:


Pistachio pesto pinwheel cookiesPesto cheese
Pistachio pesto pinwheel cookies

Pesto cheese


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