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Pesto all’Australiana / Pesto sauce

Not long ago my husband asked me if I could prepare some Pesto sauce. And I told him I’d do it. I did cook pesto a couple of times in my life and the first time was with my cousin from Torino, in Bardonecchia, when I was a kid and we were also preparing some gnocchi to go with it. Then I remember I did again a few years ago, but I had to refresh my memory. So I looked up the recipe on a website, Giallo Zafferano, unfortunately it’s only in Italian, to refresh my memory. I call it Australian Pesto because I cannot get access to Basil from Liguria, for example, because Genoa is the original town of Pesto.


– 50g Fresh Basil (better the small leaves one)

– 70g Grated Parmesan Cheese (6-7 supper spoons) > Parmigiano Reggiano DOC or Grana Padano DOC, non Italian Parmesan Cheese will not do the job if you want do it the Italian way following the original recipe. But I’m conscious that it’s not always easy to find it abroad, so just use the most similar to it.

– 30g Grated Pecorino Cheese (2 supper spoons)

– 2 pieces of garlic > I used just 1. You can also do it without garlic, if you don’t like it.

– a pinch of Rock Salt

– 15g Pine Nuts (1 spoon)

– 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil > you can buy Bertolli for example


Time: approx 20 mins

Level: easy job

Smash the garlic and the salt first with a mortar to obtain a sort of cream, then add the basil and start smashing it too. When the Basil juice starts to come out of the leaves, add the pine nuts and keep smashing everything together. Try to smash things with a mortar by hand to allow the basil to spill all of its juice.

Note: if you do it with a Minipimer, you’ll get the same job done and faster, but the Pesto could be a bit sour. You could use plastic blades or just try to activate the Minipimer for a few seconds and stop, activate it again and stop, just not to warm the basil up too much.

Start adding the two types of cheese gradually and keep smashing all the ingredients altogether. When you obtained a sauce, add the oil while keeping steering the Pesto. Your pesto is ready and you can enjoy on top of some Pasta, spaghetti or penne for example or some gnocchi. The typical pasta type you’d eat with pesto is “Troffie”, that also come from Liguria. If you find them, that’s the perfect match!


– to store your Pesto, make sure you poor some oil on top of the jar, like half cm, to have it cover it up.

– Freshly made Pesto is the best, but you can decide to prepare more quantity of Pesto and then just put it in the refrigerator and store it for another time. Just remember to defrost a few hours before your lunch/dinner.

– You can use Pesto sauce also to season some salad or just as a spread on the bread.

– Pesto is suitable also if you’re trying to stay fit, just take one tea-spoon for a dish of Pasta (70-90g), once a week.

———- // ———-


50g Basilico, meglio se tipo quello genovese a foglie piccole

70g Parmigiano grattugiato (6-7 cucchiai)

30g Pecorino grattugiato (2 cucchiai)

2 spicchi d’aglio > Io ne ho usato 1. Si puo’ fare il pesto anche senz’aglio, se non piace.

1 pizzico di sale grosso

15g Pinoli (1 cucchiaio)

100ml Olio extra vergine d’oliva > io ho usato il Bertolli, uno dei pochi che si trova in Australia, almeno al mio super


Tempo: 20 min circa

Difficoltà: facile

Pestare con il mortaio l’aglio e il sale assieme fino ad ottenere una crema. Aggiungere poi il basilico lavato e asciutto fino a farne uscire il succo. Iniziare ad aggiungere i pinoli e continuare a pestare con il mortaio. Poco a poco aggiungere anche il Parmigiano e il Pecorino precedentemente grattugiati. E poi aggiungere l’olio a filo continuando a mescolare e/o pestare, se necessario, il pesto. Il Pesto è pronto!

Note: è meglio usare il mortaio rispetto al Minipimer perchè evita che il pesto si inacidisca o diventi amaro. Se si usa il Minipimer meglio usare lame di plastica o in alternativa azionarlo solo per pochi secondi e poi ripetere l’operazione fino a quando necessario per non riscaldare il basilico.


– per conservare il pesto bisogna ricoprire la sommità con mezzo dito d’olio o comunque a tal punto da ricoprire tutta la superficie e poi conservare in frigo per qualche giorno.

– Il pesto fresco è buonissimo ed è meglio prepararlo e poi consumarlo subito, ma in alternative si puo’ conservare in freezer per più tempo e all’occorrenza scongelarlo qualche ora prima.

– Il Pesto è perfetto per aggiungere un po’ di sapore e gusto alla pasta se si sta cercando di controllare il proprio peso: 1 cucchiaino di pesto per 70-90g di pesto (1 volta alla settimana ovviamente non tutti i giorni)

This entry was posted in: Recipes


Milan born, I lived in the US although very briefly, Spain (Madrid), Australia (Melbourne) and now Zurich for an exciting new adventure! I'm a curious person, a traveller, a lover of languages and cultures, food, art & design, a marketer and about to become a jewellery designer. I also love traveling and sharing. Travelling is a Life Experience, and it also means new recipes, new styles, culture and so on... you'll find all my love for traveling and what it entails in this blog! I'll share my own real experiences with you so that you can get tips on Australia and more first hand! This blog is in English and Italian, and occasionally in Spanish. Sharing is caring!

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