Pesto – better than the stuff in a jar

For a while in my life, I couldn’t face the thought of pasta and pesto (it was shortly after a period as a student where it had been my staple diet. I still can’t eat tinned tuna but that’s another story…).

Home made pesto tastes so much better than the stuff you buy in a jar. It only takes 5 minutes and lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge. (Tip – It also freezes well – just let it come back to room temperature before stirring it into hot pasta).

Surprisingly perhaps, Molly loves these strong fresh flavours.  Here we’ve served it with chicken Milanese.

For 2 people and a little one you will need:For the pesto

  • 1 bunch basil (about 30 g)
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 20 g pine nuts
  • 60 ml olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

For the Milanese

  • 1 breast chicken
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 handful of breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying


For the pesto – Blitz all the ingredients except the parmesan in a food processor / blender.  Stir in the cheese and add salt (if using) and pepper to taste. In parallel, cook 200 g pasta.

For the Milanese – wrap the chicken breast in cling film and bash it with a rolling-pin to flatten it.  Cut into two, dip in a beaten egg and coat in breadcrumbs.  Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

When the chicken and pasta are cooked, fold the pesto into the hot pasta and allow to sit for a minute or two before serving.

Next time we will share a super steak marinade recipe for the BBQ. Don’t miss out on this and all our future recipes. Pop your email in the box at the top right hand corner on our homepage and press ‘follow’ to receive our updates.


5 thoughts on “Pesto – better than the stuff in a jar

  1. Hi Elaine and Chris. I made the Pesto yesterday and it really is way nicer than even the more expensive Pesto’s you can buy. I am having trouble getting Tamarind Paste for the steak marinade – any idea of a good substitute?? I really love the website and have passed on details to family and friends. Brid

    • Hi Brid – Delighted you’re enjoying the recipes – Post some of your pictures on our Facebook site (! We’d love to see them.

      A good alternative to Tamarind paste is an equal amount of lemon juice. If you’re trying to buy it, a big Tesco should stock it but I’ve also had a look online and there’s a great Asian supermarket in Drury Lane in Dublin.

      You’ll probably find lots of the more unusual ingredients we cook with there (we are trying to keep things simple so people can get their hands on all the ingredients but sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have an asian supermarket in the town we live in – oops!).

      Hope you continue to enjoy the recipes!
      Elaine & Chris

  2. Pingback: Tomato ragu with chicken milanese | The Claremont Road Kitchen

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