Cashew Pesto
A Creative & Delicious Twist

cashew pesto recipe

When I made my cashew pesto was the first time I used a mortar and pestle to make my pesto. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! My name is Kira Volpi and I just love pesto. I love making them, I love smelling the aroma as it’s being made, and definitely love eating them.

Using a mortal and pestle was truly a traditional and magical experience. The essential oils of the basil leaves filled the air and crushing the cashew nuts and the garlic into the pulp of the leaves just seemed to meld the flavors of this creation together into a creamy texture you just can't get by chopping the basil by hand and certainly not from a food processor.

However, if you prefer using a food processor to make your cashew pesto, try the technique used in the Genovese Pesto by clicking HERE to getting it pretty darn close!

As I learn more and more about the traditions of this Ambrosia I realize that the traditions of Italian Pasta Recipes and the way they were prepared are the very essence of why they tasted and taste so delicious.


  1. 15-20 Fresh Basil Leaves
  2. 2 Cloves of Garlic
  3. ¼ cup of Raw, Unsalted Cashews
  4. ¼ cup of Freshly Grated Pecorino Cheese
  5. ¼ cup of Freshly Grated Parmigiano Cheese
  6. Salt
  7. Olive Oil
You have to judge what consistency you like your pesto recipe so add as little or as much Olive Oil as you like. I used about a ½ cup.

Pesto Preparation:

Yes it does take a little bit of elbow grease. It's worth it though. I promise!

Basil in Mortar & Pestle Add Cashews to the Pesto

Putting the leaves into the mortar (bowl), twist and pound the pestle into the leaves to pulverize the leaves into a pulp. Then toss in the Cashew nuts.

Crushed Basil and Cashews Add Garlic to the Pesto

Just a little more elbow grease. Crush and pulverize the Cashew nuts to a creamy consistency. You will see it become buttery before your eyes. Then toss in the Garlic and crush that as well.

Add Cheese to Pesto Drizzle Olive Oil into Pesto

I use a blend of both Pecorino and Parmigiano cheeses as you would for a traditional Northern Italian pesto is made. The balance of the salty, stronger flavor of Pecorino and the creamy, subtlety of the Parmigiano are magic.

NO MORE ELBOW GREASE. Wheeeeww. Just mix the cheeses in and then drizzle with a great (not just good) quality Olive Oil to the consistence you want your pesto recipe.

Cashew Pesto should be creamy but firm. It is ultimately an herb sauce so find a happy balance in texture. When you’ve got the consistency you love, make your pasta and…

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this cashew pesto recipe I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.

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