Pesto Rosso

Yes, I know the blog is in danger of becoming all about the SAUCE, but, sauce is good.

And, believe it or not, one of the things I’ve learned here in Italy is the importance of eating unprocessed food.  Yes, America and the old Daniel, I’m talking to you— Hey, remember OLEAN or whatever the fat-fighting anus-leak-causing chemical was?   Yeah, maybe you should just eat some plain potatoes.

So, in theory, I’ve vowed to actually make food, instead of buying it all chock full of sugar and sodium and other delicious chem-wonders.

If you’ll recall, I just about had an orgasm over Barilla’s ‘Pesto alla Siciliana,’ because it combined a bunch of my favorite things.  Lo and behold, Barilla also makes ‘Pesto Rosso!‘  As I’ve discovered occurs with everything, bloggers and food sites galore try to put their own spin on things– most of which tend to sound unappetizing to me (yes, you again, sundried tomatoes…). Pesto Rosso pretty much tasted similar to the Siciliana version, but a bit less creamy or cheesy.  Since Barilla did all the work of finding out what the masses would like to eat, I hunted down a recipe that seems the most like what’s actually in the jar.  Again, I tried to be fair.  But for some reason everyone insists this sauce doesn’t have cheese in it, and MUST contain sun-dried tomatoes!   I defer to Barilla, who says “no sir or madam!”

So, I moderately made this one up based on the order of the ingredients on the jar.  If anyone makes it and it actually works, feel free to let me know, so I can remove my disclaimer.

Pesto Rosso

– 200 g (7 oz.) fresh firm tomatoes
– Cheese!  Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano
– 1 bunch of fresh basil
– 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) pine nuts, cashews, and/or walnuts
– 3 Tbsp. olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic
– salt and freshly ground pepper
– some balsamic vinegar
(If you insist on adding sundried tomatoes or red peppers, feel free.  You can also just use tomatoes that have been pre-pulped to save some work.  Most variations add a small amount of chilis or anchovies, both of which make me want to vomit a little.)
If using fresh tomatoes, boil them for a couple of minutes, then peel and de-stem.
Throw everything in a food processor and go!!
Add to freshly cooked pasta or use as a spread on chicken or toasted bread.
Wonder if your poop will turn red…and then (again) fall into a carb-induced stupor.
Now, I must hunt down the VERY elusive Barilla Pesto Calebrese and then my plan of jarred pesto domination will at last be complete!

~ by Daniel on November 20, 2009.

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