Pesto Passion – Enjoying Pesto Many Ways – Part II

Well it was Pesto Mania over the past few weeks and it continues.  I tried to salvage the basil plants from Sobeys. (see pathetic pics below, that is one of the pots) 🙂   ( I bought over 15 or so plants to make all this yummy pesto and feature some of the food on  Rogers Daytime and now hoping the plants will continue to thrive.  We shall see, worth giving it a go I think! .

(Click here  for first Pesto Passion tv segment).
I also think I gained a few pounds because I’ve eaten more pasta than ever in my life! I love Italian but soon time for a food switch.

Right now I would like to share the Walnut Roasted Mushroom Pesto with you!  Oh my, it looks rather brown and not so appetizing like the nice rich classic green pesto, but it does have a very creamy texture and lovely when used in a pasta dish with other ingredients.

Oh and I can’t forget the Kapow Garlic Pesto (basically a blunder with too much garlic, but WOW so great for garlic bread, livening up a few dishes and adding some zest to all that is food!)  It breathes Garlic power, so I named it Kapow!  Smacks you in the mouth! That follows after the Walnut Mushroom Pesto.


  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves (washed and dried)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (roasted).  I do them in the toaster oven
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tspn of salt
  • 1 cup roasted mushrooms (utilizing mushrooms roasted in the oven with olive oil).

Let’s start with infusing the above in a nice pasta dish.  I made this for my mom just over one week or so and she went gaga over it.  She is my inspiration for cooking.  French background, good Northern Canadian cooking with some European influence somewhere many years before.   Her actual words were: ‘this is to die for’, her favorite saying, so cute.  And then she kept questioning me:  ‘can I have the recipe, how do you make this?’. Well I have notes on it maman but I would rather make it for you when you have a craving and you can sit back and enjoy!

Here is the basic process for the recipe.

Basil, Walnut & Mushroom Pesto with Tomato & Caper Spaghettini

  • 1 cup veggie or chicken broth (approx)
  • Cremini mushrooms (roasted in pan)
  • ¼ cup diced onions (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp good olive oil
  • Fresh parmesan to top pasta or regular grated
  • chopped parsley to top (optional)
  • 3 tbsp or 4 of capers (no need to chop) (can also use olives)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (chopped in half or 6 – 8 campari tomatoes quartered)
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt (sea salt nice)
  • 1 tsp pepper (I like black not white)

In heavy saucepan, heat butter, olive oil, slightly sautee onions to soften up, add your tomatoes and saute a few minutes.   Add broth and let simmer so it blends nicely into a sauce.  Add capers.

(Meanwhile boil your pasta, al dente, not mush). When your pasta is ready, add the homemade pesto to your pan in the simmering sauce. Use ½ or full jar of pesto, depending on your preference of taste.  Taste it and see if salty enough for you.

Mix well.

Add your pasta that is drained.  If you need more water, add a bit of water to help blend the pasta.

Top with pine nuts, extra cheese and fresh parsley.  Enjoy!



Salvaging basil bought from Sobeys. 15 or so plants. Look forward to growing my own. Hopefully these little guys will make it!


Another alternative for enjoying the Walnut Mushroom Pesto would be for an appetizer.  A yummy Pesto Mushroom topped crostini.

  • Purchase a baguette , slice and top with a bit of olive oil and toast or bake lightly.
  • Then slather some pesto and broil the top.  You could add some extra cheese like Parmesan.
  • If that is too crunchy for you, you could just utilize your baguette slices as they are, top with the pesto and cheese optional, and bake until bubbling.Some people don’t like very crunchy bread.  You can experiment with topping of diced tomatoes and parm or perhaps some pepperoni diced up or capers.  For the fish lovers, I could see anchovies working well.

Lastly, here is the Kapow Pistou recipe.
Basically basil, cheese and oil. No nuts!


  • 2 bunches basil
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 large (very large) garlic cloves (not roasted)
  • 1/8 tspn salt

(very garlicky and powerful, great for addition to soups and any dish to zip it up)

I froze this in small spice jars. (see pic below). I’ve been using it for salad dressing, garlic bread topping, soups and pasta sauce.

NEXT ON THE AGENDA!!!! – PART III (instead of week 3 because I’m behind and the basil is not ready yet for big batches).

So….. Stay Tuned, more to come this summer, these will be so yummy too!

  • Basil Croutons with Parmesan
  • Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto
  • Lemon Caper Pesto
  • Roasted Chestnuts & Basil
  • White Bean Pesto & Basil
  • Sun Dried Tomato Basil