Italian Pesto Recipe Collection

The pesto recipe my Dad used to make was a traditional homemade pesto Genovese. I remember going to visit my Father one summer and I asked him "Dad will you make me a homemade pesto to take home?" That was all I had to say. He rushed me out the door to get the ingredients. We spent half the day shopping in several different stores to buy the perfect olive oil, then off to another store to buy the best parmigiano and delicate little pine nuts, then running to the vegetable market to buy bunches of bright green, aromatic fresh basil.

I remember him taking time chopping the basil, pine nuts and garlic to the perfect consistency by hand. Chopping and mixing for hours. You could smell it throughout the house. Of course I was right there next to him helping in the kitchen. My favorite spot growing up.

"Is this chopped enough Dad?" I would ask. "Notta yet. A littla bita more" he would reply, and yes he really talked like that. We spent a good part of the afternoon that day chopping basil and pine nuts for the jar of pesto he and I were making. He was relentless when it came to cooking.

He would tell me about the days growing up and how his Mama would spend hours in the kitchen (of course she had 14 kids to feed so I'm sure it was an all day event just cooking dinner) and when you made pesto it was never with a chopping knife. The word pesto derives from the Italian verb pestare, to pound.

Traditionally they crushed the basil with a mortar and pestle to release the aroma and essential oils and to get the true flavor of the pesto recipe.

In Cinque Terre, an area along the Northern coast near Geneova, pesto sauce is traditionally served with Trofie pasta. Pronounced trof-ehhh.

Pesto is also used in Italian soup recipes such as, Minestrone soup. Another Northern Italian favorite.

But the big question on everybody's lips regarding pesto sauce is which nuts do you use? Well, in a nut shell, that is completely up to you and your taste. My Father only used pine nuts in his homemade pesto. It is the custom in most Northern areas of Italy.

But Walnut Pesto, I'm told is the typical pesto you'll find in Argentina. By the way, there is a large population of Italians living in Buenos Aires.

There are so many pesto recipes to choose from:
  1. Almond Pesto Recipe
  2. Hazel Nut Pesto
  3. Cashew Pesto
  4. Macadamia Nut Pesto
  5. Pecan Nut Pesto
  6. Pistachio Pesto Recipe
  7. Southern Italian Pesto
Let's talk about the Southern Italian pesto which is made with unique regional flavors such as capers, raisins, anchovies. The balance between the salty, tangy and sweet is a tantalizing combination. It's bound to make your taste buds dance.

I love variety and yes it is the ultimate spice of life. So leave it to the Southern Italians who are the master manufacturers of pasta since the beginning of pasta history to give us creativity even in Pestos.

There is a small town on the west coast of Sicily called Trapani which is home to the Trapanese Pesto, or also known as Pesto Siciliano. Pesto Siciliano is made with fresh tomatoes, blanched almonds and mint. Delicious! Sicilians like it spicy so don't forget the crushed red peppers. (Italian Viagra!)

In Calabria you're Pesto Calabrese will have the taste of a blended red peppers and ricotta cheese blended with pecorino and of courseā€¦ more crushed red peppers.

Another pesto recipe masterpiece from the South of Italy is an Artichoke Pesto. Artichokes and Lemons are also abundantly grown in the Southern regions of Italy and what better way to use them but to create another creative Italian Pasta sauce.

Not only do you have a variety of pesto sauces to create but there are hundreds of ways to use them. Pesto also makes an amazing dressing for any salad in addition to your favorite cold pasta salad recipes. Pesto can top any meat or fish.

The possibilities, like all Italian pasta recipes, are endless!

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

artichoke pesto recipe ARTICHOKE PESTO:
My favorite Italian vegetable is used to make this buttery, nutty pesto.

arugula pesto recipe ARUGULA PESTO:
Spicy arugula with walnuts, gorgonzola and sweet golden raisins.

Cashew Pesto recipe CASHEW PESTO RECIPE:
A creamy blend of traditional herbs but cashew magic.:

In France they call it Pistou. I just call it Delicious.

Just like you would find in the Cinque Terre area of Italy.

gnocchi pesto calabrese PESTO CALABRESE:
Pesto Calabrese creates a surprising BANG in your mouth.

pesto chicken alfredo PESTO CHICKEN ALFREDO:
A marriage of two Italian Pasta recipe traditions.

sicilian pesto processor PESTO SICILIANO:
Mint, Garlic and tomatoes make this pesto is an all time Sicilian favorite.

almond raisin pesto pasta SOUTHERN ITALIAN PESTO:
Golden raisins and salty capers is an amazing blend of flavors.

zucchini pesto header SUMMER ZUCCHINI PESTO:
This blend of perfectly balanced flavors just screams summer.

walnut pesto header WALNUT PESTO:
A walnut pesto recipe is just GREAT as a genovese style pesto.

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