Fast Recipes

Linguine con pesto matto

Australian Gourmet Traveller fast Italian recipe for linguine con pesto matto.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
Linguine con pesto matto
Linguine con pesto matto

It’s hard to beat the flavour of freshly made pesto – it’s worlds apart from the bottled varieties. For a classic pesto, only pine nuts, basil, garlic, cheese and oil are used; the pesto in this recipe is called matto, or crazy, because of its unorthodox ingredients. Pesto will keep for a day or two in the fridge, but it’s best used straight from the processor before the basil discolours.


  • 500 gm dried linguine
  • dried chilli flakes (optional), To serve
Pesto matto
  • 40 gm each pine nuts and almond flakes, lightly toasted, plus extra to serve
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked, some reserved for serving (optional)
  • ½ bunch each flat-leaf parsley and mint, leaves picked
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50 gm each pecorino and Grana Padano, finely grated
  • 180 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • ½ lemon, finely grated rind and juice only


  • 1
    For pesto matto, process nuts, herbs, anchovies and garlic until coarsely chopped. Add cheeses and, with motor running, gradually add oil to combine. Add lemon rind and juice and pulse to combine, then season to taste and set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add linguine and cook over high heat until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain (reserve 60ml cooking water) and return pasta and water to pan. Add pesto and toss to combine, then serve hot, scattered with extra nuts, basil leaves and chilli flakes, drizzled with a little extra oil, if desired.


This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of .

  • Author: Lisa Featherby