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Perfect pesto

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Perfect pesto

Pesto has become a staple in every pasta lover’s kitchen. But pesto can dress up more than just pasta, providing an extra punch of flavour to soups, sandwiches, and even potatoes.

Originating out of the Liguria region of Italy, pesto has become a staple in every pasta lover’s kitchen. But pesto’s flavour-boosting abilities don’t stop at linguini: stirred into soup, spread on a sandwich, or tossed with potatoes, pesto is the ultimate food dresser-upper.

The “original” pesto is what most people would think of: basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and a hard cheese such as Parmesan. However, many people these days are experimenting with new interpretations of the Italian classic.

Take for example this Cilantro Pumpkin Pesto (see the video here), made with shelled pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts and spicy cilantro in lieu of traditional basil. Or experiment with a cheese-free vegan version over raw zucchini noodles for a light, elegant dinner.

Another mouthwatering variation of conventional pesto is tangy sundried tomato pesto. It’s got an intense, rustic flavour and is great on crackers, sandwiches, and much more. Try out the recipe below, and share with us some of your favourite pesto recipes!

Sundried Tomato Pesto

1 cup (250 mL) oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp (30 mL) pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup (180 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor combine sundried tomatoes, Parmesan, parsley, pine nuts, and garlic.

Turn processor on and slowly add oil until a smooth paste forms.

Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or spoon into ice cube trays and freeze for a convenient flavour boost.

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