Homemade Pesto Round Up For Pasta Please


I would like to say a big thank you to Jac from Tinned Tomatoes for letting me host the Pasta Please challenge this month. I’ve been very impressed by all the creative homemade pesto entries, 17 in total so there’s lots of inspiration here for delicious, quick mid week pasta based meals.

First up is this very colourful summer vegetable pasta salad with lemon basil almond pesto from Janet at The Taste Space. It’s not quite spring yet let alone summer but these colours certainly helped cheer up a grey March day when I read this post.

Next up is this delicious sounding walnut and rosemary pesto from Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen. She didn’t have any of the ‘conventional’ pesto ingredients i.e. basil and pine nuts so she got creative instead and I’m so glad she did as this looks wonderful.  
Another creative pesto here from Ingrid over at Kitchen Tales of Sugar & Spice who made surf and turf pasta with pistachio pesto. After a bit of googling she found the recipe she wanted and like so many of us do she adapted it in her own little way and served the pesto with chorizo and mixed seafood. 
Louisa from Chez Foti has used one of my favourite cheeses in her stilton, walnut and parsley pesto which she served with spaghetti and roasted thyme and garlic mushrooms. She’s also put a very handy little guide together for choosing the ingredients for your pesto, very helpful if you haven’t made it before. 
Stilton, Walnut & Parsley Pesto 
Shruti at The Part Time Chef came up with this recipe for pasta with peas and walnuts pesto as a way of overcoming her dislike of walnuts and surreptitiously getting her kids to give them a chance by pairing them with peas. 
The next entry was mine and I went for a vegan watercress, rocket, spinach and almond pesto. Whilst we’re not vegans or even vegetarian my boyfriend tries to avoid cheese whenever possible as it can be a migraine trigger for him. I served this pesto with some flaked trout and fusili.

Next up is Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen with pea, basil and walnut pesto served with mushrooms and linguine. A beautiful summery combination that will be wonderful for when the warmer weather returns.
pea basil pesto pasta

Pistachios seem to be a popular choice for this challenge as there is another green nutty entry from the Law Students Cookbook here with pistachio and spinach pesto. To add a twist the pesto was made with onion and garlic flavoured pistachios.
Rita from Rita Cooks Italian has made a pesto with sage and almonds. This sounds like a really interesting combination that I hadn’t thought of before.  
Linguine with Pesto Sage
This next entry from Jibber Jabber sounds lovely and refreshing. It’s a mint pesto with a generous hit of Parmesan which I’m very intrigued by.

Karen from Lavender & Lovage made use of a veg box staple to create this Swiss chard and walnut pesto using her own home grown walnuts. She’s also written a lovely potted history of pasta eating in the UK.
Quick and Simple Pasta Pronto! Swiss Chard and Walnut Pesto Recipe 
Lisa from We Don’t Eat Anything With A Face went for a twist on the classic basil and pine nut combination. She added chargrilled peppers and sundried tomatoes to make this pretty red antipasto pesto to complement all the green entries. 
Jacqueline from How To Be A Gourmand went for the classic basil pesto served with linguine, such a vibrant green colour bound to perk up any pasta.  
Freshly made Basil and Pine Nut Pesto
This chestnut pesto from Stephanie at Riverside Baking is a good wintery choice seeing as Spring still seems to be hiding around the corner. She used thyme and basil as the herb component which sounds fantastic.
The second vegan pesto entry here is from Johanna at the Green Gourmet Giraffe with this walnut and tomato pesto served with gnocchi, brocoli and feta. 
Caroline from Caroline Makes was like me and had also never made pesto before but she rose to the occasion for this challenge to use up some pistachios left over from baking to make Nigella’s pistachio pesto.
Finally last but by no means least is this courgette pesto from Katharine at Leeks & Limoni. Another twist on the classic basil pesto which has a delicate flavour best paired with a filled pasta such as the gorgonzola ravioli she served it with.
A big thank you to everyone who entered. I really enjoy hosting challenges for other bloggers as it gives me the chance to find new blogs and maybe some the of entrants hadn’t seen me before so we all get to look at something new.  I had a go at growing some herbs on my windowsill last year but they didn’t do very well so am determined to have another go this year so I can make lots of different pestos using all these lovely entries for inspiration.
Check out the Pasta Please page to see who is hosting next month’s challenge.
  • Elizabeth
    March 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Mmm mmm! A lovely selection of recipes – who would have thought pesto could be so versatile!

  • Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand
    April 1, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Lovely round up Jen! I’m particularly drawn to the stilton, walnut and parsley pesto and the antipasto red pesto. Thanks for featuring my entry and for being a super host 🙂

  • Shaheen
    April 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Such wonderful creations, I am so gutted I did not get to participate this time round :(, regardless some of these pesto dishes will be created at home. Thanks for hosting.

  • janet @ the taste space
    April 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Wow – I love how versatile pesto can be! 🙂