Definition of pesto in English:



mass noun
  • A sauce of crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, typically served with pasta.

    • ‘On a cold blustery night, a meal of pasta, fresh pesto and good Parmesan made me feel like summer might not be far away.’
    • ‘Guests can choose from a selection of sauces, including basil pesto, tomato pesto and bolognaise from a simmering wok.’
    • ‘Thank God for pasta and those lovely little pots of sauce and pesto to pour over the top.’
    • ‘For the main course I had the penne with mozzarella, tomato, basil pesto and olive oil.’
    • ‘For pesto, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan in a food processor and process until finely chopped.’


Italian, from pestare ‘pound, crush’.