All About Pesto

Filippo Berio Pesto

What is pesto?

Pesto is an Italian sauce. Pesto alla Genovese, originated in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, in Italy.  The name ‘Pesto’ derives from the Italian verb, pestare, meaning to crush or grind. The key ingredient of Classic Italian Pesto is basil which is crushed into a delicious sauce with garlic, Olive Oil, grated hard cheese and pine nuts. Pesto is simple to make and ready made in jars it’s a convenient family favourite – great with pasta and in many more Italian recipes.


What is Pesto made of?

Classic Italian Green Pesto is made from basil – originally from the Italian region of Liguria. The basil is crushed with garlic, Olive Oil, grated hard cheese and pine nuts making a rich sauce that’s perfect with pasta and many more delicious recipes. Apart from Classic Pesto other Italian regions have different pesto recipes using sun dried tomatoes, chargrilled vegetables, peppers, ricotta cheese and other signature regional ingredients. Learn more about our different Pesto flavours.

What is Red Pesto?

There are many red-coloured Pesto sauces, but the term usually refers to Pesto that is made with sundried tomatoes, the second most popular variant in the UK. Red Pesto is great for stirring through pasta – but it also adds vigour and fresh flavour to many types of sauces. Learn more about Red Pesto and Filippo Berio’s whole range of delicious pesto sauces.

What is Red Pesto Filippo Berio

What is Green Pesto?

Green Pesto, so-called because of the vibrant green basil which is its main ingredient, is a classic Italian sauce. Pesto alla genovese was originally created in Genoa in the Italian region of Liguria (traditional green Pesto uses Ligurian basil). Green, or classic, Pesto is a popular and versatile cooking ingredient used in pasta and many other delicious Italian recipes. Discover some of our favourite Green Pesto recipes.

What is green pesto made of

Is Pesto vegan?

Most Pesto is made with cheese which contains animal rennet so it is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. If you’re making your own pesto, simply swap the cheese for one that is suitable for vegans and add some nutritional yeast for extra flavour. Try our Gnocchi with Vegan Pesto recipe.

Is Pesto vegetarian?

Most Pesto is made with cheese which contains animal rennet so it is not suitable for vegetarians. If you’re making your own pesto, simply swap the cheese for one that is suitable for vegetarians.

What goes with Pesto sauce?

Pesto Sauce is often mixed with pasta – straight from the jar, it offers a simple and quick meal for all the family. However, Pesto goes far beyond pasta, it’s an endlessly versatile ingredient which can be used in many different ways – on pizzas, with sandwiches, with grilled fish and lots more.


Pesto breadsticks

These tasty pesto bread sticks make fabulously moreish appetisers.


Gnocchi with vegan pesto

These Italian-Style fluffy potato and flour dumplings are easy to prepare.

How to use pesto sauce from a jar?

Pesto sauce is a real store cupboard saviour! Simply stir the sauce straight from the jar through cooked pasta and serve for a delicious, quick and easy family meal.  But Pesto isn’t just about pasta – it can be used in a wide variety of ways to add flavour to other dishes, as a base for pizza or as a sauce in a sandwich. Find lots of delicious Pesto recipes from Filippo Berio.

Can peanuts be found in Pesto?

The traditional recipe for Italian Green Pesto contains pine nuts, not peanuts.  (Contrary to their name, pine nuts are not actually classified as a nut.) However, since some readymade Pesto sauces may contain other ‘true’ nuts, shoppers should always check the product label very carefully. If other nuts are used they must be declared.