Pesto has become such a stand-by of the gourmet sandwich and pasta cafe in recent years.  The homemade version really is so much better, you too will be adding it to your everyday creations.  Vegetarian meals are often lifted with a dollop of Pesto, and who can't resist simple spaghetti with Pesto...


A very large bunch of basil - as much as you can get your hands on!

½ cup pure VERY BEST extra virgin olive oil

125 grams freshly grated parmesan

3 cloves garlic (either raw or oven roasted for a milder flavour)

1 tablespoon white balsamic or white wine vinegar

100 grams pinenuts

1 tablespoon rock salt

1 teaspoon peppercorns

Juice and zest of a lemon (optional)

In a large mortar and pestle grind pinenuts with garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper to a rough paste.  

Shred the basil in a food processor, or chop very finely.   Add basil, vinegar and oil to the mortare and use the pestle to mix everything into a thick paste.  Once combined, add parmesan and mix well.

For full flavour, keep overnight before using.

Pesto Spaghetti

Pesto can be stored in jars, covering the top of the sauce with a little olive oil to maintain freshness.  Once opened use within a week, stirring through pasta, as a pizza base or as an addition to salad dressing or sauces.

As a guide, rough serving suggestion is about 1 tablespoon per person for Pesto Spaghetti, served with a few extra pine nuts and a flurry of rosemary flowers!