Italian cuisines have always delighted me and my family. My daughter and sons always are after this cuisine. Any given day, they would prefer Italian over Indian, which I dont entertain much. Though I firmly put my foot down to maintain a decorum of traditional food, we are a bunch who enjoys any and every food. I can proudly say that whole of my family, even the extended ones are also crazy about food and Italian food is top priority amongst them.
Every week there will be couple of days where we stick to Italian cuisine. Pesto got a permanent place in of those days. I started off with the classic Pesto. It was mainly used in Pasta. Then my experimenting mind curious and ventured into different types of Pesto’s. I further enhanced it into other areas like sandwich fillings, skillet preparations and even curries. I store different flavored pesto’s so that many a times brekkies and dinner are whizzed up in a matter of time.
Pesto is a classic Italian paste used as a pasta sauce. Precisely pointed, this classic originate from Genoa, located in the Northern part of Italy and is called Pesto Alla Genoise. Pesto basically means grinding or pounding or to crush. The sauce got its name in the way it is made rather than an ingredient or shape. Traditionally Mortar and Pestle is used to
make this sauce. This method is important in order to release the full aroma of Basil leaves. By crushing the leaves with pestle, you make the pesto overloaded with basil flavors.
Basic Pesto consists of crushed garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, Olive oil and lime juice. It has since been adapted in modern times to work as a condiment or marinade for various fusion dishes. I decided to add another twist to it, and it resulted in 4 pestos that can be used classically, or as whatever you’d like it to be. Sundried tomato adds a bite and umami, carrot and beetroot add earthy sweetness and the classsic traditional is always refresing and satisfying.
I store this in sterilized containers in fridge and use as and when needed. This is a great spread for sandwiches or can be made into a sandwich by itself. You can make any flavored pesto according to your preference. The taste solely depend on one’s personal preference. So the quantity of ingredients also depend on your palate.
Add all the ingredients into a food pro and grind to a sauce. If you want to go the traditional way, you can start crushing by adding garlic first, followed by basil, pine nuts and finally olive oil, salt and lime juice.
Dice 2 carrots roughly and roast with a little olive oil, salt, and rosemary until soft. Add 200gms to classic pesto recipe, or to taste. Add salt if needed.
Dice 1 medium sized beetroot and roast with a little olive oil, salt and thyme until soft. Add 200 gms to classic pesto recipe, or to taste. Add salt if needed.
I’ve since used the pestos as a spread on toast, as marinade for chicken and for pasta. Let me know how you choose to use it.