Basil plants are growing rapidly in many gardens. And that makes summer the perfect time to enjoy a pesto sauce.
Although it is not a standard ingredient in a pesto sauce, I add a little tomato sauce to mine because I like the acidity and body that tomato sauce adds. But it's up to you -- there are many interesting ways to add an interesting twist to pesto. Anyway, here is the recipe I use:
Tomato-Basil Pesto Sauce (serves 5 to 6)
2 cups of fresh basil leaves, reasonably packed
2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of premium tomato sauce, such as Classico
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of pine nuts*
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste
* – You can substitute walnuts for this.
DIRECTIONS: Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Turn on device to medium power in order to thoroughly grind the nuts and combine all ingredients. This will take 10 to 15 seconds. Turn off the motor and taste -- then add freshly ground pepper and salt as needed. Turn the blender back on for several seconds, and then taste the pesto again. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Toss the pesto with linguini or fettucine – then serve. A salad of mixed greens goes well with this.