Pesto Pasta

wild garlic


During lockdown I have been cooking with my three year old daughter every day. It has been a life enriching process and one that I will try to make time for when life returns to normal. Pesto is a firm favourite for most children and it was a delight to be able to forage wild garlic on one of our state sanctioned walks and then create wild garlic pesto for supper.

Pesto is one of the most popular Italian sauces around the world. Originating from Genoa, it is very easy to make and lasts for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. It can even be frozen. The traditional recipe is made in a mortar and its main ingredient is basil. Our version uses wild garlic leaves.


  • 50g freshly picked wild garlic
  • 100g Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or a mix of 70 g Parmesan and 30 g Pecorino
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of salt


  • Cut the basil leaves, discarding the stems which have a more bitter flavour. Wash thoroughly and dry them.
  • The pine nuts can be lightly toasted to bring out their flavour or left raw.
  • Put half the olive oil and the rest of the ingredients in mortar. Pound with the pestle until all ingredients are well mixed. Then add the rest of the olive oil. Pour the sauce into a large bowl.
  • Boil the pasta according to the instructions of the brand. Drain well and pour into the bowl with the pesto.
  • Mix well with a pasta spoon and serve onto plates, adding shaved or grated Parmesan and toasted pine nuts as desired.

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