Giada De Laurentiis' bright spin on pesto sauce uses almonds instead of pine nuts

Giada's recipe only takes 10 minutes, allowing for plenty of time to figure out what Italian wine is the best match

Published April 23, 2021 2:51PM (EDT)

Giada De Laurentiis (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Giada De Laurentiis (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

As reminders of spring start to pop up everywhere, we can't help but feel inclined to serve up some of that bright new energy on our dinner plates. If you'd also like to turn this vision into a reality, whip up Giada De Laurentiis' citrusy spin on pesto this weekend.

Giada recently shared her recipe for Pesto Agli Agrumi on social media, and it was love at first sight when the beautiful green sauce crossed our eyes. This version of pesto hails from Sicily, and it kicks things up a notch with some simple swaps from ingredients you likely already have on hand in your pantry. 

The chef explains everything on her website: "Essentially, it contains the same ingredients as Pesto Alla Genovese, with almonds in place of pine nuts, and the addition of lemon or oranges – or both, like my recipe here. It also sometimes has capers, as well."


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The beauty of this recipe is that you can choose your own adventure. Whether you'd like a more subtle citrus flavor or you'd prefer to keep the pine nuts in the mix, the results will all be delicious. This sauce is also amazingly simple to make. Giada's recipe will take you 10 minutes tops, allowing for plenty of time to figure out what Italian wine is the best match. 

To begin, combine the following ingredients in a food processor: slivered almonds, fresh basil, lemon and orange juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Once everything is well chopped, add the ingredient that ensures the final product is creamy and smooth: extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the sauce with your favorite pasta in a bowl, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan on top and you're left with a vibrant springtime remix of one of the classics. You can also mix things up by pairing this sauce with bruschetta or fish. (If you do go the traditional route, reserve some of the pasta water to help the sauce adhere better to the noodles.) Full recipe here


For more of our favorite recipes from Giada, check out: 

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By Manuela Lopez Restrepo

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