Basil, Cashew and Chilli Pesto

Pesto is so simple to make and also so versatile. You can make so many different combinations of flavours and use it as a pasta sauce, accompaniment to meats and fish, you can also mix a little through some mash, yummy. I know the traditional Italian pesto consists of Basil, garlic and mostly pine nuts, but I put a little twist on it and used cashew nuts and some chilli and I think it was quite delish.


– 75g fresh Basil leaves

– 80g Cashew nuts,

– 2 medium cloves Garlic

– 3/4 cup of Olive Oil

– 1/2 red Chilli

– 100g Pecorino

– Sea salt to season


Start by placing the basil into your food processor, add half of the oil and the garlic. Blitz, adding a little more oil as you go to ensure it creates a nice moist paste of the basil leaves. Now add the rest of the oil, roughly chopped chilli and the cashew nuts. Blitz until all the ingredients are consistently fine and incorporated into a paste. You may need to add more oil from this point, just see how you go, you want the pesto to be thick and moist, be careful to avoid creating a runny mess so always add a little at a time. Break up the pecorino and blitz into the pesto. Taste, if you think it needs a little more salt then add, but you may find your particular pecorino is quite salty enough.

Now, if the ingredients are resembling a lovely pesto paste, turn out into a small bowl. Use some now and cover the rest to use a part of another dish later in the week. A fine layer of oil should settle on top of the remaining paste in the fridge. If it’s looking a little dry, pour a thin layer of oil over the top, cover and it will stay fresh for a few more days.



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