Garden Salad and Potatoes with Pesto

Recipe by Matt Wilkinson

Makes: approx. 500 ml | Prep Time: 5 mins | Skill Level: 1 (Easy)



  • 2 big handfuls basil leaves, washed
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts, plus extra untoasted pine nuts for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan, with extra for garnishing
  • ½ lemon, juiced  
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cups, dried bowtie pasta


  1. This is the basic pesto recipe we use – put it all in the blender and blitz until smooth but with a few small chunks. Season.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil; add the pasta and cook following instructions on the back of the packet. Drain into a colander, drizzle with olive oil and mix. Transfer into a serving bowl, spoon over the pesto, mix well, grate over extra parmesan and scatter over toasted pine nuts to serve.


  • The pasta we serve with this does not resemble anything like the penne from my childhood years. I love different types of pasta shapes – seriously, an extra few dollars for a good dried pasta and some different shapes makes all the difference and is fun for the kids. I have provided a list below of some of the different shapes we like with pesto:
  • bucatini (like a thicker spaghetti, but hollow)
- matriciani (similar to bucatini but folded over rather than a tube)
- tro e (torpedo-shaped spirals)
- spaghettoni (extra-long spaghetti)
- orecchiette (little ears)
- trecce dell’orto (‘braids of the garden’; tight twists in five colours) See the cooking instructions on the packet – I generally have no idea!
  • If you over season the pesto, adjust the taste by adding more herbs and lemon juice.