QUICK MEALS: Nutty Pesto Macaroni with Bacon

I had an interest with exploring the tastes of Aolis first before Pesto, while reading ‘A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France’.

Thought both felt almost similiar to me with the use of fresh ingredients, garlic and olive oil.

The idea of making a sauce without cooking, but in a mortar.

And I have one at home. So why not?

Minimal cooking to dress pasta. And a quick way to make food too!


Aioli is made with garlic and egg yolk (like a mayonnaise) and Pesto with basil or with cilandro (no egg)

Now, I have made Pistou before referencing a recipe from ‘A Pig in Provence’.

And suddenly I am confused as I am blogging this.



… Pesto is a name synonymous with Italy, but more importantly with Liguria.

The original recipe for Pesto originated in Liguria, a coastal region of northern Italy and was made famous in the Ligurian town of Genova (Genoa) an important seaport.

…Pistou is a sauce used particularly in South West France. The difference between the two, pesto and pistou are that the latter is made from olive oil, basil, salt and garlic. There is no cheese or pine nuts in Pistou.


Pounding walnuts and garlic in my mortar. Rustic isn't it? :)


First I have to state that, I have not followed an entire recipe yet from either the book or any recipes on Aolis yet.

Although I am quite keen to try out the task of making my own true Aoli soon enough :)

I’m trying to explore the different textures and taste derived from simply the use of garlic and other aromatic foods to replace the saucepan. Love the almost rustic feel to pound by hand than using a pulser – electronic product.


A visual ingredient list. Simple foods to make a meal..

Nutty pesto came as a whimsy. With a range of nuts sitting at home, and being starving hungry on a weekday afternoon.

Walnuts and Almonds came to mind.

Aromatic nuts, and favorites of mine.

The only pasta I had was Macaroni and Bacon.

I had to feed TWO.

So, in came the Broccoli. To add balance to a meal with fibre and greens!

Broccoli cleanses the mouth from the tad heavier taste from the salty bacon.

On the overall, quick and simple. Light tastes and textured.

Slivered toasted almonds added to the crunchy texture.

And pesto made of nuts, yummy aromatic!

Voila! Finished product. Enjoy.

Although I would love to re-make this and improvised better with the recipe.

Maybe with the addition of fresh herbs and replacing Macaroni with Penne or Farfelle (To make it more fun).

I really think amount of Olive Oil used is by preference.



1/4 cup Walnuts
2 tablespoons Almond Slivers – For Garnishing
4 Garlic Cloves – Chopped
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

When it is almost a paste, start drizzling in your olive oil. 'Grind' it around the mortar bowl.


  • Add Nuts & Garlic to Mortar and pound to paste. (You add the ingredients gradually by type to pound together gradually)
  • Add olive oil, grind/mix till both oil and paste incorporates well.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: Do not oversalt your pesto, ad the bacon in the pasta will add up the saltiness to the dish.




5 rashers of Bacon

2 1/2 cups Cooked Macaroni – Boiled with salt and oil till all dente.


Pesto, Almond Slivers and Bacon tossed in.


  • Heat your saucepan, fry your bacon for a few minutes till cooked.
  • Add in the pesto and mix. Stir it a little until the heat releases a slight nutty aroma.
  • Toss in the pasta. Have a little taste test, add pepper/salt accordinly if preferred.
  • Add in the almond slivers. Serve hot.
  • Garnish: Leave a little of the Almond Slivers to sprinkle on top of the pasta if you like.



BROCCOLI Side dish

Steamed Broccoli, with just a nub of butter for taste.




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