Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pesto Panache

Let's face it -- sometimes it's too damn hot to cook, but you still have to eat. A salad or sandwich is just fine for lunch, but if you want something that eats like an actual meal, consider making pesto, the O.G. no-cook pasta sauce from way, way back. All it takes is a handful of fresh ingredients, a food processor and about 20 minutes. Even better yet, in that 20 minutes you can make enough pesto to last you months if used sparingly and stored correctly.

You still have to boil a pot of water, but if you use gnocchi (fresh or packaged), the pasta will only take 3-4 minutes to cook instead of the standard 8-10.

Pistachio Pesto

3 large bunches of basil, leaves blanched
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil; as needed
1 TBS pumpkin seed oil

1. Combine the basil, garlic, cheese, and pistachios in a food processor or blender. Add enough olive oil to just cover the blades; power on. Drizzle in another ounce or two of EVOO and TBS of pumpkin seed oil.

To store -- cover the remaining pesto w/ a thin layer of olive oil, seal in an air-tight container and freeze for up to two months.

-- experiment with different types of leafy greens and a variety of nuts:

- a cup of fresh arugula or parsley adds a nice little punch.
- a cup of cilantro adds a nice little twang.

- walnuts add some warmth
- pine nuts add some depth

© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" - http://missioninsatiable.com


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