The Passionate Purist

The Passionate Purist

This is a sponsored post written by Chef Stuart O’Keeffe on behalf of Barilla®.

As we all know we are in the middle of summer and when it comes to summer, I am all about the seafood. When the weather gets warmer I tend to gravitate towards lighter fare. This Baked Cod with Barilla® Creamy Genovese Pesto is super simple to make and using this pesto really elevates this dish.

For me, building the perfect pantry is so important as a chef. In a way, I’m like a home cook. I want to get home and create something super simple and flavorful in a couple of minutes. One of my go-to’s in my pantry is this Barilla® Creamy Genovese Pesto. It pairs with most proteins wonderfully so it’s a must to have stocked in your pantry. It is so easy to add a deep robust flavor to any dish. It is really so versatile and easy to use with any dish. I love to add a spoonful to soups all year round.

Today there are so many pestos out there in the marketplace. Generally, a classic pesto is made with pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, basil, and parmesan cheese. One thing I love about Barilla’s pesto varieties is that they have done the thinking for you according to your personality. Here is the list of their pesto with their corresponding personalities suited for anyone wanting to elevate their dish:

  • Barilla Rustic Basil - The New Traditionalist (Loves spins on classic dishes and putting spins on traditional recipes)
  • Barilla Creamy Genovese - The Passionate Purist (Obsessed with plating, presentation and modernity with their recipes)
  • Barilla Creamy Ricotta & Arugula - The Bold Adventurer (Adventurous in the kitchen and enjoys travel and cultural ingredients)
  • Barilla Sun-Dried Tomato - Life of the Party (Expressive party hosts, decorators and DIYers with a strong voice)

Which "pesto personality” are you? I am definitely more of a Passionate Purist. Less is definitely more when it comes to cooking along with me. I would make this dish all the time without using pesto, but when I added the pesto it brought this dish to life!

What’s your Pesto personality? Share your creations on Instagram using #PestoBesto!

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Baked Parceled Cod with Creamy Genovese Pesto
Servings: 2


  • 2 tablespoons Barilla® Creamy Genovese Pesto 
  • 2 6-ounce cod fillets
  • 6 red baby potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 8 asparagus spears, trimmed 1 inch from the ends and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 4 rounds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Season cod with salt and pepper, spread pesto all over fish fillets and set aside.
  3. Lay out 1 large sheet (about 16" x 12") of parchment paper. Place potato slices, asparagus, tomatoes in the center of the paper, season with salt and pepper, a splash of lemon juice, then 1 fish fillet on top with a slice of lemon. Drizzle 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, and 2 sprigs of thyme.
  4. Fold over the ends of the paper to enclose the fish. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until fish reaches 130˚F to 135˚F on a thermometer. 6. Remove from oven, place on a plate and enjoy.
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