Uruguayan Pesto

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Uruguay, like Paraguay and Argentina, has a strong Italian heritage. Here’s a recipe from a Uruguayan friend for a pesto that’s unique—very different from the Italian version. This pesto is delicious on pasta and makes a nice spread for a sandwich. Note: it’s salty, so you won’t need to add salt to your pasta when you use the pesto.


  • 1-1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • One package of fresh basil
  • Two cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Rinse basil well; remove stems
  2. Chop basil finely until the leaves turn into green mush
  3. Place basil in a glass jar and cover with olive oil
  4. Add garlic, pecans, and salt
  5. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours
  6. Use on pasta or sandwiches

This recipe makes enough to last through several batches of pasta and sandwiches. It keeps well in the fridge for several weeks. If the olive oil solidifies due to the low temperature in the fridge, remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature while making pasta, or microwave for 15 seconds.

Yield: Two cups

Photo courtesy of Steve Knight


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