Red Pepper Pesto may seem a step too far for those of you who think of pesto as that green stuff in jars in the supermarket, but think again my friends. Pesto is fabulous stuff and making your own is the only way to go. Forget plain basil pesto and think outside the jar and get creative with different types of pesto.
The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pistare’ to pound and purists will tell you that all pesto should be made in the traditional manner by pounding the ingredients into a paste using a pestle and mortar. While this indeed the best way to make pesto in this fast paced modern world the food processor does take the elbow grease out of the equation and make things much faster. So feel free to grab your processor and get cracking!
Red pepper pesto is the perfect addition to a plate of pasta, just warm it up and stir it in to your favourite spaghetti/penne or whatever. It also goes really well with Spanish Manchego cheese and makes a great addition to a toasted cheese sandwich.
With its vibrant colour and zingy taste this lovely red pepper pesto is also just perfect for an anti paste platter with some cheeses, olives, cold meats and crusty bread.
So forget those nasty little green jars in the supermarket and get making your own pesto, I promise you, you’ll never look at those jars again!
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 small red chilli
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1 sprig mint
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- Grill the peppers under a hot grill till blackened then place in a plastic bag till cool and remove the skin, tops and seeds
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for barely a minute till they are just turning golden and their nutty aroma is released
- Tip out of pan immediately or they will continue to cook and burn
- Chop the chilli and discard top and seeds
- Whizz the peppers, chilli, pine nuts, mint, lemon zest and parmesan in food processor
- Drizzle in the olive oil till you have the consistancy you prefer
- Make it firmer if using as a dip or spread and looser for a pasta sauce
- Season to taste