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Lemon pesto

lemon pesto

Without cooking and ready in 5 minutes, lemon pesto is the perfect recipe for summer. Better with spaghetti or linguine?

Today we offer you the recipe for a no-cook sauce perfect for seasoning pasta in summer . We are talking about lemon pesto, a condiment with an intense and fresh aroma, ideal even on the hottest days. The recipe is typical of Procida and if you are lucky enough to find lemons from the island you will discover a unique product with an intense aroma and slightly acidic juice.

Little known compared to other recipes with lemons typical of the area, it seems to have been among the favorite condiments of Massimo Troisi, who came to the island to film some scenes of Il Postino . To make it you need organic lemons, parmesan, pine nuts, oil, garlic, salt and pepper and finally a sprig of basil and a sprig of parsley. In all cases it is a simple recipe to customize so let's see all the details.

lemon pesto
lemon pesto

How to prepare the lemon pesto recipe

  1. First, wash the lemons carefully after making sure that they are organic and have edible peel.
  2. Remove the zest with a potato peeler without removing the white, bitter part, or grate it. Also squeeze the juice and filter it to remove the seeds.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in the pan for a few minutes. This step is optional, it just serves to make them tastier.
  4. Combine the grated cheese, lemon zest, peeled and cored garlic clove (you can omit it), oil, a pinch of salt, ground pepper and toasted pine nuts in a mixer .
  5. Also add washed basil and parsley and an ice cube and about 80 ml of lemon juice (you can increase or decrease the dose if you like, it depends on your taste and the acidity of the lemon used).
  6. Blend until you obtain a smooth lime green sauce , extremely fragrant and with a rustic consistency.

A variant involves the use of almonds and pine nuts . In this case, use 40 g of pine nuts and 30 g of almonds, toasting both in a pan before using them. Others then prefer to omit the parsley and add a few more basil leaves. In short, as always, free rein to your imagination and your tastes.

Read also
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How to use lemon pesto

The best way to enjoy this pesto is with pasta like we did with the lemon pesto pasta recipe. Long formats such as linguine or spaghetti are ideal. To make it an even more complete dish you could add a couple of cans of tuna in oil.

But the uses of lemon pesto certainly don't end here. Try spreading it on slices of toasted bread: you will get delicious crostini , excellent to serve as an aperitif.


The lemon pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days . It is also possible to freeze it, already portioned, for up to 6 months.

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