Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red Pesto

And speaking of pasta, a topping for pasta made of olive oil, Calamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, fresh garlic, fragrant rosemary, and crushed red peppers can't be beat. I came across the recipe for red pesto (along with several other gems) in the cookbook, Trattoria by Patricia Wells. I like this topping served on angel hair pasta for a simple one-dish supper, or as a pasta side dish for special meals, and it is pretty amazing when spread on a slice of good Italian-style bread. Tonight, I am using it as the base ingredient for a pizza: red pesto, mushrooms, caramelized onions, red pepper and Canadian bacon. Red pesto is a snap to make with a food processor, it stores well, and with its bold flavors, a tiny bit adds a lot of taste. The admittedly somewhat costly ingredients in red pesto are a definite splurge, but this recipe yields a quantity sufficient for several (nearly instant) meals -and that, my friend, is priceless.

Red Pesto

Adapted from Trattoria by Patricia Wells
10-20 (or an 8 oz. jar) oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes
4-8 cloves garlic, minced
20-30 pitted Calamata olives (or 6 oz jar), drained
1 T. fresh rosemary, finely minced (I had to make do with dried)
optional: crushed red peppers to taste
1/3 - 1/2 c. olive oil

Process all in a food processor to make a chunky paste with a bit of texture. Makes almost a pint, which will store well for several weeks -if it lasts that long.

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