Monday, January 12, 2009

Creamy Pesto

Where I live there is a restaurant that Emi and I used to frequent that has a really awesome Creamy Pesto Pasta dish. We have been trying really hard not to eat out too much so I decided I'd try to recreate the dish at home. I think I did pretty good! It wasn't exactly right, but I think next time I'll know what to do to make it better. We had the pesto in a pasta dish with chicken seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper and pan-fried in a little bit of Sunflower oil. I think next time I make pesto, I will try it on a Homemade Pizza with chicken. Another thing, I'm not a big fan of measuring, so I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but just kind of tasted it as I went and followed the recipe as a guideline. I would definitely use more garlic though.

Creamy Pesto

2 T olive oil (I used E.V.O.O.)
2 c. fresh basil leaves (pressed) *
1/2 c. fresh parsley
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese. (I probably used closed to 1/2 c.)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 c. walnuts**
4 oz softened cream cheese (I used Fat Free. SHHH! Don't tell Emi!)
1/4 c. heavy cream or half & half
Salt and pepper to taste

1. About a half hour to an hour before you're going to make the sauce, take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften.

2. In food processor, puree basil, parsley, & garlic with oil until pasty.

3. Add grated cheese & nuts and blend more.

4. Add cream cheese until well blended.

5. Add cream or half/half a little at a time till desired consistency.
6. Pour into a sauce pan to heat, unless you are serving it cold.

* I think basil is hard to find and expensive when you find it. I was only able to find a small package of basil at Walmart and it was pretty pricy, so I asked my friend what I could do instead, but fortunately I was able to find a bigger package of basil at Smiths. Next time though, to save some money and some searching, I will substitute half of the basil with spinach and it will still have a very nice pesto taste.
** In this recipe walnuts and pine nuts are pretty much interchangeable. Infact, I used both walnuts and pinenuts because I didn't have enough of either.

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