Mari is cooking her light pesto without cheese

My earliest memories in the kitchen are from when I was around 7 years old. This passion that evolved throughout my life took me to develop easy going, heartfelt recipes for my family and for clients. One of them is this fantastic pesto with spinach, cashew nuts and pistachio.

Before going to work, my mother would leave me a special task for lunch. Chopped garlic and measured rice, oil and water were waiting for me to finish the rice in a typical Brazilian style as a side for our family meal.

I also will never forget the cheese that my grandparents made at home standing on a cupboard outside of the house to be cured. The smell was incredible. They were self-sustainable, growing vegetables, herbs and farming.

Coming from an Italian background, all the family got together on Sundays. Children were responsible on the making of the capeletti (a type of pasta), which was the first course.

I grow herbs and vegetables in my garden. I make sure that my children know the difference in smell and tastes by asking them to pick it up while I’m cooking. There are a lot of people who simply do not know the distinction between a herb and a vegetable.

I am what I call a free flow cooker. I don’t follow recipes and I don’t measure things. I go by instinct. My cooking is simple, but well-seasoned, fresh and warm.

When preparing a meal, one is sharing a personal story. A dish can bring back memories and also create new ones about people and places. Food makes memories!

I felt challenged to make a pesto without cheese because I was working for a woman who couldn’t eat dairy. I came up with this flavourful recipe with spinach, cashews nuts and pistachio.

Here the pesto is on top of mozzarella, avocado and tomatoes from the garden

Pesto by Mari


50g of cashew nuts

50 g of pistachio

1 handful of mint basil (or other basil)

1 handful of spinach

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper

Olive oil or rapeseed oil


Blend everything, adding the oil slowly until the preferred texture.

More stories:

Grandma and Grandpa’s Bahia Beef Casserole (Carne de Panela)

Cutie Cheese Pie to Eat in a Bite

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