Pisto napoletano is like pesto, ground in a mortar, only the ingredients are the spices used in many Neapolitan recipes: mostly cinnamon, pepper, and then smaller amounts of star anise, cloves, coriander, and nutmeg, briefly toasted. It's an essential ingredient in Neapolitan Christmas cookies.
You can buy it ready-made, which is why Nonna has a big smile on her face. Grinding star anise and cinnamon sticks is hard work.
Image by picclic