Pesto Delicato di Camogli

I discovered this recipe when on vacation in Camogli, Liguria in Italy. Traditional pesto without garlic is made in a pestle and mortar. This raw sauce is tossed with fresh green beans cooked with fresh trofie pasta. If you can't find the twisty trofie pasta, use any fresh pasta-even linguine.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 ½ cups fresh basil leaves

  • 1 teaspoon rock salt

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

  • 1 (16-ounce) package fresh trofie pasta


  1. Add pine nuts to a large mortar and pestle and crush until a past forms, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 of the basil leaves and begin to crush and grind the basil leaves until they have begun to release their oil and leaves begin to break apart. Add another 1/4 of the basil leaves and the salt. Crush and grind the added leaves and the salt. Continue this until all the basil leaves have been added and crushed; turning into a paste.

  2. Add the Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses and mix with a wooden spoon. Once well combined, add the oil little-by-little until a creamy paste has been achieved.

  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fresh trofie pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Mix in pesto sauce, adding a bit more olive oil if needed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

340 Calories
34g Fat
2g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 340
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 780mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 199mg 15%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 119mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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