Fresh Pesto

Fresh Pesto

This green sauce from Liguria in Northern Italy is really popular in our @cookschoolclub classes in schools, so we thought you might like to get the children to make it to add to your pasta one evening. Traditionally it’s made using a pestle and mortar, but you can use the end of a rolling pin and a bowl if you don’t have one. You can also make it in a food processor. And if you don’t have pine nuts, use breadcrumbs.

Partnership with Cook School 


Makes enough for about 4 people

You will need:

- 1/2 clove garlic 

- pinch of salt

- 1 tablespoon pine nuts – if you don’t have pine nuts, use breadcrumbs

- About 25 - 30 fresh basil leaves 

- 40g grated vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese 

- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra if needed  


a pestle and mortar or a rolling pin and bowl

or you can make it in a food processor


STEP 1. Put 1/2 clove garlic into a pestle and mortar. Add a pinch of salt - this is important, it helps to make it easier to break up the garlic.

STEP 2. Add the pine nuts or breadcrumbs and grind until they’re broken into small pieces. 

STEP 3. Add about 25-30 basil leaves and mash some more. Bash the leaves until they’re broken into small pieces. Try to do this quite quickly to keep the colour, the longer you bash the darker the leaves go. 

STEP 4. Add 40g grated Parmesan and 4 tablespoons olive oil and stir. You might need to add a little more oil if too thick.

Watch Cook School's video to see how they make Fresh Pesto