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Aggiadda Garlic Pesto Recipe | How to Make White Pesto Sauce

This early pesto recipe is the ancestor of the famous Pesto alla Genovese. It couldn’t be more different, though! With no basil at all, this sauce is completely white and has a strong, tangy flavor from the addition of vinegar. The result is a delicious and unique condiment that can be used in many creative ways.

Aggiadda Garlic Pesto Recipe | How to Make White Pesto Sauce

How to Serve Aggiadda Pesto

The pesto has a refreshing hint of acidity to it, making it a perfect substitute for mayonnaise. We actually prefer it over the latter, because aggiadda is a little bit lighter but with so much great flavor. Plus, it’s much quicker and easier to make at home than mayo—this pesto is done in just a few minutes.

It comes out very thick, making it the perfect sauce to use as a chip or vegetable dip. Spread it on a sandwich or burger to add some tasty zing. You can also thin the pesto with a little water to make a pasta sauce or salad dressing.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Aggiadda here:


Makes: About 1/3 cup

Cook Time: 10 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped

  • Coarse salt to taste

  • 1.75 oz. (50g) fresh or slightly stale bread with the crusts trimmed off

  • White distilled vinegar

  • 2 tbsp (30g) extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

  • A smooth stone mortar and pestle, preferably the largest size you can find

  • A bowl

Place the garlic and a generous pinch of salt into the bowl of your mortar. Use the pestle in a circular grinding motion to mash the garlic into a paste.

Cut the bread into smaller pieces, if necessary, and place into a bowl or deep dish. Pour enough white vinegar over the bread to fully saturate it, and let the bread soak for 1 minute. Drain it and squeeze all the excess vinegar out. Place the bread into the mortar and mash this into a paste with the garlic. Finish by mixing in the olive oil.

Taste the pesto and add more salt and/or olive oil as desired. Pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To prevent the pesto from spoiling or discoloring, cover the surface of the sauce with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil before storing it in the fridge.

Buon appetito!

Want to try another pesto variation? Visit our complete guide to making perfect Pesto alla Genovese! For another amazing condiment from Liguria, check out Salsa di Noci walnut sauce!

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Jun 11, 2023

I saw on your video this morning that someone had made a white pesto that you had made! What??? White?? Of course, I had to try it! It's in the fridge waiting to be an addition to dinner!


Apr 16, 2023

The minute I saw this recipe posted on Youtube, I had to try it, since I've made Trapanese and Genovese pesto before. Now I want to put this on EVERYTHING! Ancora una volta, grazie!

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