Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pesto-- Plus a Bonus of Purdy Family Pesto recipes


3 cloves garlic (I use the plumpest in the head)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups basil leaves, firmly packed (another recipe I have calls for 3-4 cups loosely packed, but I suppose it's about the same amount)
1/4 cup pine nuts (walnuts may be substituted for the pine nuts)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (I sometimes cheat and use a parmesan-romano blend, even though pesto's best if you buy fresh parmesan and grate it yourself)

Place basil leaves in food processor with metal blade. Start machine, drop garlic down. When it is finely chopped, pour in oil. Add nuts with machine running. When nuts are ground, add parmesan. Turn off machine when well blended. Stop machine and scrape sides as needed. Makes about 1 1/4 cup, which generously covers 1 pound pasta.

To make Pesto Calzones, mix 1 cup of pesto and 1 lb. of ricotta. Use your favorite dough recipe; roll dough out into circles. Fill one half of the circle with filling and fold over. Seal the edges with a fork (using water to moisten the edge for a better seal) and poke a few air holes in the top. Repeat with remaining filling and dough; place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Serve immediately.

To make Pesto Pizza, spread pesto on pizza dough, sprinkle with shredded cheeses, diced, fresh tomatoes, torn basil leaves, if desired, and whatever else your little noggin thinks of.

To make Pesto Lasagna:

2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups minced onion
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups pesto
4 pounds part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, roasted
32 lasagna noodles
2 pounds part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. In a large, heavy skillet, saute the onions in 1 tablespoons of the olive oil until the onions are soft (5-8 minutes). Add salt and pepper in moderate quantities. Remover from heat. Add drained, thawed spinach. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add half the grated parmesan, the pesto, the ricotta and the sunflower seeds. Grind in some extra black pepper. Mix thoroughly.

3. Meanwhile, boil the lasagna noodles until partially cooked. Drain and rinse under cold water.

4. Coat 2 13 x 9 pans with olive oil. Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of each pan. Spread 1/4 of the filling onto the noodles. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over the filling.

5. Repeat with remaining filling and mozzarella. Place a final layer of noodles over that.

6. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over the top. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with foil and bake at 350ยบ for 35-40 minutes.


DaniRizzo said...

This is lovely- thank you! May I make another recipe request? When Spike and Holly and I visited you this past summer, you made us the most luscious dessert- chocolate cups filled with brownie, pudding, and whipped cream and topped with a decadent fresh raspberry sauce. I still think frequently and longingly of that dessert...

Leah said...

Looks delicious, Abby! Will try it soon! Thanks so much!

abigail said...

You're both welcome, and, Dani, I'll let you know when the recipe arrives here.