View Full Version : Pesto

06-22-2006, 12:50 PM
What are your favorite recipes that call for this? I confuse I get obsessed, and I just made 1 batch and plan to make a bunch more b/c I found a cheap source for basil ($.50 for a HUGH bunch.)

fyi my recipe
2 cups basil (stems and all)
1/2 cup EVOO
2 T Walnuts
3 T Parm Cheese
3 cloves of garlic

Throw in the food processor and ta da!

Old family friend's recipe, been making it for year. DH love pesto.

06-22-2006, 03:14 PM
This may seem silly, but how do you use pesto once it is made? I have bought the jarred before, but never figured out how to make it work on the pasta. It is always either too thick or I have to use a whole jar to make the pasta coated and it just doesn't seem right. Is there something I'm missing? Do you have to add oil or something to it?

(I love pesto dishes at restaurants and would love to make plain pasta with pesto at home)

06-22-2006, 03:52 PM
It has oil in it. I just mix it with pasta. I have made pasta salad with it (added some Italian Dressing too.) Tonight I am going to put it over cooked chicken breasts.

06-22-2006, 07:54 PM
My two favorite recipes are Warm Pesto Tortellini (main dish) and Pesto Mayo Crunch Tilapia (another main dish).

Warm Pesto Tortellini

1pkg fresh (Butoni/Dijorno) 3 cheese tortellini
14oz can Del Monte Petite Diced Tomatoes in Olive Oil/Garlic, drained
Diced Prosciutto (from TJ's), lightly browned
4-5 Tbsp pesto
Shredded Romano Cheese

Boil tortellini to pkg directions in salted water, when done, drain and put in pretty casserole dish (8x8 or oval), gently fold in tomatoes and prosciutto (diced kielbasa also works...or omit), stir in pesto, grate romano over entire dish (I pop it into the microwave covered for another minute) and serve. So pretty on the table.

Pesto Mayo Crunch Tilapia

In blender/processor/ziplock, crush 1.5 cups seasoned crutons until like coarse bread crumbs, set aside.

Place medium boneless skinless tilapia filets (that have been patted dry) on greased baking sheet. In separate bowl, combine 1 tbsp mayo and 2 Tbsp pesto. Spread evenly on fish top/sides. Top w/ thick layer of crumbs. Place in oven and broil until done (depends on weight and thickness). I've also tried 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees, which also did it for my thin filets.

Serve over rice pilaf w/ lemon zest.

We also make pesto pizza sometimes. Just substitute it for red sauce and top as usual.

Baseline appt July 25th! Tentative retrieval ~Aug 10th, transfer ~8/13 or 15

Proud Aunt to Jack Dorian, born to my bro & SIL 3/06

06-23-2006, 07:00 PM
My favorite recipe - I make the vegetarian version without the meat and use veg broth.
Here's the link
and here's the recipe (there is a recipe for pistou but I use my own and it works just fine)

Autumn Soup with Pistou
1 (6-ounce) piece lean smoked bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups diced (1 medium-large) white onion
1 cup diced celery
2/3 cup diced (1 medium) carrot
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon, dried
6 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 (1-pound) cans cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
3 large firm ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped or 2 (1-pound) cans tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup small pasta shells

3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste

In a soup pot or casserole cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it is golden. With a slotted spoon transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock or broth and salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil and simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and simmer the soup, covered, for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Let stand off heat, covered, for 5 minutes.

Make the Pistou: In a small food processor or blender, combine garlic, basil, Parmesan and pepper and with machine running, add oil in a stream. Puree until well blended. Add salt to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with the Pistou and accompanied by fontina and Parmesan toasts.

06-23-2006, 07:44 PM
If your pesto is too thick when tossed with your pasta, add some of the water in which you cooked your pasta. Not too much, just a few tablespoons or so. It will loosen up the consistency.

06-23-2006, 07:51 PM
My favorite summertime salad:

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

Copyright, 2001, Ina Garten

3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

06-23-2006, 07:54 PM
An appetizer that makes a great impression at parties. You can just substitute your own homemade pesto for her recipe.

Pesto Cheese Blossoms

Courtesy Paula Deen

1 (8-ounce) package sliced provolone cheese
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
20 pistachios, shelled
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhang to cover the top. Reserving 3 slices of the provolone, line the bottom and sides of the bowl with the remaining provolone, overlapping the slices. For the cream cheese layer, process the cream cheese, pistachios, and 1 of the garlic cloves in a food processor until blended; scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside. For the pesto layer, process the basil, parsley, pine nuts, and the remaining garlic clove in the food processor until blended. Dissolve the salt and pepper in the olive oil and mix well. With the machine running, add the oil in a fine stream. Scrape this mixture into a second bowl and set aside. For the tomato layer, drain the tomatoes, reserving the oil. Puree the tomatoes with a small amount of the reserved oil in a food processor. Spread some of the cream cheese mixture over the cheese slices lining the bowl. Layer the pesto mixture, half of the remaining cream cheese mixture, the sun-dried tomato mixture, and then remaining cream cheese mixture in the bowl. Cover with the remaining provolone. Bring the edges of the plastic wrap together over the top and secure with a twist tie. Refrigerate until firm. Remove the plastic wrap and invert the mold onto a serving platter. Serve with party crackers.

06-25-2006, 09:16 PM
Baked Pesto Chicken

Preheat oven 350 degrees.


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
pesto, enough to top chicken breasts
olive oil
hard Italian cheese (Parmesan will work)


Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Lay chicken breasts side-by-side in baking pan. Brush chicken breasts (lightly) with olive oil. Spread pesto on top of chicken breasts. cover with cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serves 2.

After cooking, chicken can be served as an entree or (sliced into strips) on top of a caesar salad.


ETA: My pesto recipe is simply basil, olive oil, and pine nuts mixed together in a food processor.

Alternative to basil pesto is red pepper and pine nuts in a food processor. (The olive oil is not necessary in this recipe since red pepper has enough liquid already.)

06-29-2006, 03:01 AM
this is a frequently asked for repeat in our circle of friends i cook for each friday...

it is one of the best recipes i've come across on allrecipes - shrimp with pesto cream sauce...



Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.

Tondi G
07-03-2006, 06:14 PM
Ahhh my neighbor makes the yummiest pesto bread! I guess she just buys the big round bread from trader Joes (I think it's Ciabatta) and slathers it with Pesto and pops it in the oven till it's crispy toasted... YUM! Now I want some!!!!!