Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Q and A

Anonymous said...
Do you ever cook with Pesto? If so do you make your own or buy it? Where in the grocery store do you typically find it?

Well, Anonymous, I have to admit I don't cook often with pesto. I've had it on pizza (Thai Chicken) but that's about it. I have only made it once, using the following recipe from the March 2009 issue of Everyday Food. It was pretty good, but my kids didn't like it - it was a little hot - so I don't know how often it will be reappearing on our dinner table. The second recipe is one a friend sent me in a recipe exchange, although I've not yet tried it. I know you can purchase pesto, I'm guessing in the pasta aisle or possibly refrigerated near the cheeses. My readers will correct me if I'm wrong, so be sure to check back in the comments. Hope this helps!

Fettucine with parsely pesto and walnuts
coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 pound fettucine
2 cups packed fresh Parsley
1/4 cups walnuts, plus more chopped for serving
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 garlic clove
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
5 ounces baby spinach

1. In a lrge pot of boiling salted water, cook past unil al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot.
2. In a food processor, puree parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons water until a paste forms. With machine running, add oil in a thin stream; process until very smooth, about 1 minutes. Season pesto with salt and pepper.
3. To pasta in pot, add pesto, 1/4 cup pasta water, and spinach; toss to combine. This with pasta water as needed. Serves sprinkled with Parmesan and walnuts.

Homemade Pesto - from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or pinenuts
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered (or about 1 tbs of canned garlic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper (to taste)

In a food processor or blender combine oil, nuts, basil, cheese, garlic, and salt. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary. Add pepper to taste. If you're not serving the pesto immediately, divide it into 3 portions. Place each potion in a small airtight container and chill for 1 to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Note. For 6 side-dish servings, cook 6 ounces dried pasta, such as farfalle, linguine, etc, according to package instructions. Toss with one portion (1/4 cup) of the pesto.


Goldie said...

I have made a broccoli pesto that wasn't spicy at all; I'll see if I can find the recipe for you...

Bob said...

Mmmmm, pesto. I don't think I've ever had a spicy one.