A simple sauce for pasta from Livorno, this is like a Tuscan pesto sauce. The walnuts and pecorino cheese give it a nice zing. Like the famous Ligurian pesto, this sauce can be prepared using the blender, or mortar and pestle.

Ingredients (serving 6)

  • 500 grams spaghetti
  • 200 grams walnuts (in shell)
  • 150 grams salted Pecorino cheese, called 'Pecorino Sardo' (or use Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese)
  • 100 grams basil leaves
  • 50 grams olive oil
  • salt


In a mortar, grind the cheese together with basil and walnuts; mix it all with good quality olive oil. (Or mix them together coarsely in a blender or food processor.)

Boil the pasta in boiling, lightly salted water. Cook until al dente, drain, and toss with the sauce. Stir and serve.

This is a kind of simplified Tuscan edition of "pesto" Genovese. Original is the freshness of walnuts that, along with the spicy "Pecorino Sardo" cheese mixed with extra virgin of olive oil and basil, guarantees a very special taste.

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