Going Nuts with Pesto alla Siciliana – Ricotta e Noci (from scratch)

Italy. It features ancient culture, emotional language, loving and interesting people and last but not least bloody awesome (and healthy) cuisine. I’m happy Italy isn’t everywhere, since there are soooo many uncounted delicous cuisines (and awesome cultures and people), but you can bring a little bit of Italy (alsmost) everywhere. Back in Germany, I discovered (short before I moved away, such a pitty) this delicious ready-to-eat pesto from Barilla – Pesto Ricotta e Noci alla Siciliana. Moving, studying, working and other recipes kept me busy, but one day a little while ago, I was thinking of it, wanted it, could not find it in the local shops and then went researching on the webs. I found the Barilla ingredients list and cross-checked with Italian recipe pages (praise to google translate), since companies often substitute for reasons of cost, shelf-life, colour or texture.  A couple of trials with my brand new Kenwood Cooking Chef (on which I may or may not post at some stage) – Voilà – my very own Ricotta e Noci alla Siciliana. Enjoy!

Recipe: Going Nuts – Pesto alla Siciliana

Pesto Siciliana Ingredients

Pesto Siciliana Ingredients

Creamy, crunchy with a nice bite from garlic – share with your loved ones so they like to keep you around (you can try boiling or roasting the garlic prior to crushing or chopping to take a bit of that bite out). You can prepare this pesto a day in advance and store it in the fridge!

Serves 4 (use with about 400 g of pasta)

Preparation: 15 min (without pasta preparation)

  • Mortar and pestle
  • Small food processor (or upscale and freeze) I use the Mini Chopper AT320B on my Kenwood Cooking Chef (on the left in the picture). If you have neither, try getting walnut and cashew (or other) nut-butter
  • Chopping board and knives
  • Garlic crusher


  • 15 g walnuts
  • 10 g cashews nuts
  • 8 basil leaves, fresh
  • 1 clove garlic, medium
  • 10 g grana padano
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, extra vergin
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 60 g ricotta cheese


  1. Roast the nuts and let them cool thoroughly.
  2. If using the mortar, chop the nuts and basil finely.
  3. Crush the garlic.
  4. Mash nuts, basil and garlic in the mortar or food processor into a paste.
  5. Add all other ingredients and mix into a homogenous paste.
  6. Keep in the fridge or serve with your favourite pasta.
Pasta and Pesto alla Siciliana.

Pasta and Pesto alla Siciliana.

This pesto is rather thick. Add it to freshly cooked pasta which are still wet and add a little hot water (or use some of the water the pasta was cooked in) to liquify the pesto a little. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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