Basil Asiago Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup asiago cheese (the longer aged, the better)
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1/3 cup olive oil

Optional garnish:
8 oz sauted sliced mushrooms

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, pulse until a thick paste forms. Toss with 1 lb cooked pasta. Garnish with mushrooms and serve.

Yield: about 4 servings

My thoughts:

We have gone asiago crazy! My husband recently discovered how much he likes asiago and has been sneaking it into everything. So when I went to make pesto for dinner tonight, I swapped the parmesan for some aged asiago. It is really good, asiago has a fairly assertive flavor which seems to bring out the pepper flavor in basil. I love it when such a simple change can bring new life to a old favorite.


  1. You read my mind. I need to harvest my basil. Where did you buy the asiago cheese and pine nuts?

    And do you think this pesto would be good cold for pasta salad?

    Thanks in advance for doing my cooking homework for me. 🙂

  2. Cute picture. I’ve never tried asiago before. Now that’s next on my list!

  3. Danielle:
    1. Asiago: I bought it at Wegmans, but I’ve seen it at Superfresh/Safeway. Pinenuts are everywhere, but cheapest at Trader Joes
    2. Serving it cold is totally fine. Since the sauce isn’t heated, it only is slightly warm from the pasta anyway.

    Eggy: Asiago is so good. Dry and slightly crumbly but melts wonderfully.

  4. Awesome. Thanks for saving me from needlessly driving around to 5 grocery stores! 🙂 I think I’m going to take a Trader Joe’s trip, soon.

  5. Just curious…I have heard the name “Trader Joes” passed around on people’s blogs before and was wondering what’s up with this place. I live in Canada and there is no TJ’s here but fellow Canadians that travel to the U.S. often come home with bag loads of stuff from this store. Can anyone clue me in as to what makes TJ’s so special? Thanks!

  6. Joanne: Trader Joe’s is basically a “natural foods” store with cheap prices. Major companies repackage their stuff under the Trader Joe’s label and sell it for lower prices. For example: Nielsen-Massey vanilla paste is $12, they repackage it for Trader Joe’s who sells it for $5. I am frankly not the biggest fan, they are infamous for carrying a product, then suddenly stopping carrying it and then it is as if it never existed in the first place. You really can’t do all of your shopping there. But, they are very reasonably priced esp. for things like nuts, dried fruit or prepared foods.

  7. Great idea! I have both asiago and basil in the kitchen – perhaps this is dinner tonight.

  8. Great minds think alike: I just posted on pesto too! I put some on top of Halibut right on the grill—I bet asiago would pair beautifully on my fish!

    BTW Love your site.

  9. Mmmm, pesto deliciousness! I must try it with asiago next time. Thanks for the idea.

  10. pesto with no oil? I’m skeptical… but intrigued.

  11. Asiago is excellent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in these parts of France, though.

  12. looks awesome!!

    pesto is my fave!

  13. Sometimes when I read your blog through RSS I forgot about your suberb pictures.

    What kind of noodles are those? I have never seen those before.

  14. I think it is called cavatappi. I always think of it as pig tail pasta!

  15. Yum! Asiago is a little tricky for me to find here, but I’m going to look harder! Beautiful photo, Rachel! 🙂

  16. This looks great! What a fabulous summer dish!