• Tony D'Onofrio

Tony D’s Liguria Tri Color Penne Pesto

Serve with classic Italian white wines. Such as a Pinot Grigio from Liguria or Gavi from Piemonte. Sauvignon Blanc from Loire valley is also a great choice.



Ingredients for Pesto:

4 cups of fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup of pine nuts (Pignolia nuts) or substitute roasted sliced almonds toasted on the oven until golden brown

½ tablespoon of salt to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper to taste

2 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup of premium extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¾ cup of freshly grated Romano cheese


Directions for Pesto:

1) Add 1 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoon of minced garlic and 4 cups of fresh basil leaves (remove any excess rinse water) to the blender or food processor. Blend at a medium speed into a paste. Important: If storing the pesto, blanch the basil leaves to prevent browning. Remove excess water.





2) Add 1/2 tablespoon salt,1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 cup of pignolia nuts or substitute roasted sliced almonds (roast the almonds to golden brown and cool before use) continue to blend into a paste. Optional: at 350 degrees Fahrenheit lightly roast pignolia nuts for approximately 5-7 minutes to enhance nut flavors. Cool before use.



3) Place the pesto mixture into a mixing bowl and mix in 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and ¾ cup of freshly grated Roman cheese.




Special Creamy Version:

For creamy pesto - simmer 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream and ½ cup of Pesto to slightly thicken then fold in 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Toss with 16 ounces of your favorite al dente pasta and ½ cup of pasta water.


Storage tip: Place unused portion in a storage container or jar. Add a thin film of olive oil on top to keep the oxygen from the Pesto. This prevents oxidation and browning. Refrigerate of freeze.


For Liguria Tri Color Penne Pesto:

Cook 1 pound of tri color Penne al dente and remove 1 cup of the pasta water for later use before straining the linguini. Toss penne, half the pesto mixture, and cup of pasta water.


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