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Recipes with pesto: 10 dishes of Mediterranean cuisine

salad with pesto and cherry tomatoes

Tasty, always fresh and suitable for any moment, recipes with pesto are our favorites! Here are the top 10.

Recipes with pesto are a real joker in the kitchen : everyone loves them, there are few who turn up their noses. Behind this sauce there is an ancient tradition and its genuine and simple ingredients such as pine nuts and basil make it a treasure of our tradition . Pesto is a condiment that makes every dish unique and is known and loved all over the world.

Very versatile, suitable for first and second courses, pesto is also easy to freeze and use at a later time, with little notice. In Italian cuisine it is used for first courses as a sauce, to marinate second courses, to give more flavor to soups and soups, but also as a "strong" ingredient in some vegetarian recipes.

How is pesto made? History and ingredients

Liguria has a great tradition linked to the use of aromatic herbs, which has its roots in the Middle Ages. The herbs were used in the banquets of the rich, or by the poor to flavor not very "lively" soups. It seems that this ancient custom gave rise to pesto, a condiment created cold with basil, a plant that grew almost everywhere. Pine nuts, which can be harvested from the ground, were also one of the resources accessible to the poor .

Usually made with pine nuts, basil, parmesan and oil, pesto sometimes sees the addition of garlic. The basil must be fresh and very aromatic , preferably coming from the splendid Liguria. The presence of pine nuts is unmistakable and precious, which give recipes with pesto a unique and special consistency.

Obviously, there may be many variants of pesto , such as that of rocket, that of asparagus, or that made with almonds .

Our recipes with pesto

Versatile, delicious, even children like it, but if you're tired of the "usual" pesto pasta, here are ten pesto recipes chosen for you. Second courses, bread, focaccia… there really is something for all tastes: let's get started!

1. Veal with pesto

veal with pesto
veal with pesto

Among the many possible recipes with pesto, we like this second course: we are talking about veal slices in pesto cream. This dish is ready in the blink of an eye, it's good, delicious and suitable for any occasion!

Our version of pesto is a bit different from the traditional Ligurian one, but it has one advantage: it can be prepared in seconds. Don't you even have this time available? No problem: buy a package of ready-made pesto directly from the supermarket, your veal with pesto will still be sensational !

The ingredients needed for this pesto recipe are:

  • 600 g of veal slices
  • Half a clove of garlic
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 50 g of pine nuts
  • 50 g of grated pecorino
  • 6 tablespoon of EVO oil
  • 4 spoons of white wine
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper as needed

2. Gnocchi with pesto

pesto gnocchi with mushrooms
pesto gnocchi with mushrooms

The recipes with pesto find a dimension of unique flavor in the gnocchi. In fact, today we offer you gnocchi al pesto with mushrooms , a tasty and unusual first course at the same time: in fact, it is rare to see pesto and mushrooms declined in the same dish. We are sure, however, that this dish will win you over.

We use ready-made gnocchi for a matter of timing, but if you can make them at home: there is no comparison. The rest of the preparation is very simple : make the pesto by placing all the ingredients in the mixer and cook in a pan. Now combine the three main elements of the dish and the game is done! Here's what you'll need:

  • 500 g of ready-made potato gnocchi
  • 100 g of basil pesto
  • 500 g of champignon mushrooms
  • 50 g of grated Grana Padano
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper as needed

3. Pesto lasagna

Lasagne with Pesto
Lasagne with Pesto

When we talk about recipes with pesto, those with pasta immediately come to mind. We offer you lasagna with pesto , a timeless recipe that speaks of home and simple and genuine flavours.

We make lasagna with pesto with béchamel, thus giving life to a combination of colors and succulent flavors , which will also be appreciated by the little ones. Here are the ingredients we used to prepare this first course with pesto:

  • 500 g of lasagna
  • 300 ml of béchamel + to taste
  • 250 g of pesto
  • 200 g of Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper as needed
  • butter to taste

4. Aubergine rolls with basil pesto

aubergine rolls with pesto
aubergine rolls with pesto

The eggplant rolls with pesto are a delicious and fresh idea that vegetarians will also like: they can be served both as an appetizer and as a main course.

They are at their best as soon as they are made, so it is advisable to consume them immediately . To make this easy recipe, the ingredients are:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 75 g of cottage cheese
  • 30 basil leaves
  • 20 rocket leaves
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 small glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • coarse salt to taste
  • black pepper

5. Cherry tomatoes and pesto salad

salad with pesto and cherry tomatoes
salad with pesto and cherry tomatoes

We will not only deal with first and second courses but also with side dishes with pesto such as salad with pesto and cherry tomatoes . This is a dish that is ready in just a few minutes: all the ingredients must be inserted cold and you don't even have to touch the stove!

It's perfect especially in summer, when the tomatoes are at their best and cold dishes are ideal, but obviously, we recommend it all year round . Here are the ingredients needed to make this pesto salad:

  • 1 bunch of rocket
  • 300 g of small mozzarella
  • 200 g of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 40 g of Parmesan cheese
  • 15 g of pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

6. Focaccia with pesto

focaccia with pesto
focaccia with pesto

Liguria has not only given us pesto, but also focaccia ! So can you think of a more appropriate pairing than focaccia with pesto to celebrate this region of Italy?

In our recipe, the basil sauce is used both in the dough and on the surface for flavor and the whole thing is completed by cherry tomatoes. As with all leavened products, however, you will have to wait for the dough to rest. Ready to start? Here are the necessary ingredients:

  • 600 g of flour
  • 300 g of water
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 10 g of fine salt
  • 20 g of olive oil
  • 15 g of fresh brewer's yeast
  • 100 g of Genoese pesto
  • cherry tomatoes to taste
  • basil leaves to taste

7. Turbot rolls with pesto

turbot rolls
turbot rolls

The fish rolls with pesto are tasty and delicious. In addition to the turbot, we have chosen some Genoese sauce and lard, which will wrap everything for a result with a truly enveloping and incomparable flavor!

We advise you to start with already cleaned fillets to save some time; all you have to do is flavor them with pesto , roll up and wrap in lard. After baking in the oven they are ready to be enjoyed! Here's what you need:

  • 8 turbot fillets
  • 8 thin slices of Colonnata lard
  • Genoese pesto to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper as needed

8. Chicken pesto and cherry tomatoes

pesto chicken and cherry tomatoes
pesto chicken and cherry tomatoes

A second course or a single dish? Pesto chicken with cherry tomatoes really fits all your needs at the table. You can decide whether to cut the chicken into small pieces or leave the breasts whole, and after cooking it in a pan you will only have to season it with pesto and cherry tomatoes: easier than that…

We offer you a classic basil pesto but also the spinach one (always made in the same way) goes very well. Here is what you need:

  • 600 g of chicken breasts
  • 250 g of pesto
  • fresh cherry tomatoes to taste
  • Salt to taste

9. Baked sea bream with pesto

sea ​​bream with pesto
sea ​​bream with pesto

Looking for other recipes with fish and pesto? Then linger over our baked sea bream with pesto . We have added zucchini and baked potatoes for a more complete and interesting dish .

For the preparation you will have to cook the fish in the oven for about 20 minutes and in the meantime you can dedicate yourself to the preparation of the green basil sauce by blending all the ingredients in a mixer. Then cut the fillets and serve with generous pesto . For this fish recipe, get:

  • 1 kg of fresh sea bream
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 45 basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • pine nuts to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 potatoes

10. Pesto savory plumcake

pesto plumcake braid
pesto plumcake braid

Let's round off our recipes with pesto with this braided plumcake, a sort of braided and seasoned leavened product.

The hardest part will be waiting for the rising times and, if you're not very practical, you can skip the plot part. For the rest, your leavened pesto plumcake is easy and delicious. Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 125 g of 00 flour
  • 125 g of manitoba flour
  • 1/2 sachet of dry brewer's yeast
  • 30 g of plain yogurt
  • 30 g of milk
  • 60 g of water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons of Genoese pesto
  • grated parmesan to taste

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