Monday, June 8, 2015

Recipe: Daniela's Authentic Italian Pesto

This is a family recipe from one of my friends whose parents hail from Italy. Some of my readers may remember Daniela from my post that I did on their fabulous intercultural wedding, a few years ago. Daniela is a professional photographer, and also a chef extraordinaire. Just like Indian culture, home cooking is very much a part of Italian culture. This pesto recipe is so easy to make and one of the few that husband-ji likes the most, because it is so flavorful. It is the perfect combination of spicy and tangy. I often make it for my daughter for lunch, and also for our Indian family when they come to visit.

Daniela's Authentic Italian Pesto
(serves 4-6 people)

- 4 cups of fresh basil
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a few shreds of lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/4 cup pine nuts


In a small omelette pan, toast the pine nuts until they brown, and keep aside.

Add the olive oil, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, chilli flakes, and toasted pine nuts to the blender.

Wash the basil and add it to the blender.

Blend until it makes a smooth paste, and keep aside.

Boil the pasta (penne or spaghetti) until al dente.

Drain the pasta, run it under cold water, and then put it back in the pan, mixing the pesto into it.

Place pesto pasta on the serving bowl, sprinkle with parmesan, and serve.

And voila!

If you have extra pesto left over, you can store it in the freezer for up to 6 weeks, or in the fridge for 5 days.

P.S. This is a great recipe to make with your kids! (See chef Maya below!)



  1. omg ... 3 years old girl do so sincerely ... dis is really amazing thing ..MAYA is so sinecre girl ..touchwood .. luv u maya ..nd i love when she taste n gave expression :) ..
    ooh i forgoet about about recepie when saw vedio .. recepie is good .. i will try as in india i never made like dis ..we alwayse fry onion garlic carro tn all things and mix with pasta ... so it new for try ..will try .. thanks ALEX :)

    1. Thank you! She loves to cook and help me....even with dal she likes to pick off coriander leaves and put it in! She's my little kitchen helper! :)
      This one is a classic Italian recipe, I think you'll like it! It can be done with spinach or mint also.

  2. That's a recipe we used to love and do often, recently we've done it less, because I find it too oily, I'm more into brinjal gravy nowadays for pasta.

    By the way, I was wondering how you are tackling your iron deficiency issue, have you changed your diet or are you just taking tablets ? (Pad)

    1. Yum! Will have to try it!
      One of my readers asked for more Western recipes that Indians would like so I am trying to post more of those lately.
      I've had to totally change my diet + is really working! This one I can still have but I have to eat it along with a salad and chicken etc.

  3. I made this pesto last week with our garden fresh basil. This recipe is so good! Hubby and I are still raving over it, and I'm sure it will become a family favorite. Thank you for sharing!


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