From Liguaria with love: pesto

All my favorite pasta sauces happen to come from the same Italian region: Liguria. They have an uncomplicated and totally taste-focused kitchen which impresses with its simplicity. Pesto is no exception: it is versatile, easy as can be, healthy and supertasty. Here three ones to choose from if you want to try something different from the classic green pesto: lemon & mint, vegan red pesto, and one with walnuts.



1/2 dl lemon juice
Big handful of mint leaves
2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
1 dl good olive oil
1/2 dl of lightly roasted pine nuts
Black pepper and salt to taste

This pesto works not only with pasta but as dressing for salads with sweet fruit or grilled halloumi & honey.


Blend all ingredients in a mixer into a fine paste.
Hint: pesto can be frozen and used later!



250g cherry tomatos or 1,5 dl roasted cherry tomato sauce
One red pepper
Handful of roasted cashew nuts
1 dl good olive oil
One large garlic clove
Black pepper, chili, and salt to taste

Despite being vegan, this pesto got all thumbs up from two big hungry meat-loving men - they did not even want to add cheese!


Roast cherry tomatos in 125C for 1-2 hours (skip this step is you use tomato sauce)

Cut the red pepper into half and grill peel side up until peel is dark and almost burned. Cool down and peel.

Lightly roast cashews on a frying pan (or use roasted nuts)

Blend all ingredients to a fine paste, serve with whole grain pasta or as dressing for grilled veggies



30 g Parmesan
3/4 dl good olive oil
100g walnuts
25 g cashews
50 g cream cheese
One small garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste

This pesto is a close relative to the classic Italian walnut pasta sauce. I used a bit of cream cheese instead of bread crumbs and milk to make it creamier, and replaced pine nuts with cashews for added nutrition.


Blend all ingredients in a mixer into a fine paste.

Let the pesto rest at least half an hour in the frigde before serving. During this time the oil will come on top as always with oil-based pestos - just mix it before serving.