Recipe

Basil Pesto

The canned “pumpkin” you find in the grocery store is actually made from butternut squash. Homemade pumpkin puree is sweeter, has less moisture, and tastes both different and better, so works better in this Spiced Pumpkin Butter recipe. Bonus: You can also use this butter as the basis for a pumpkin pie. Simply mix 2 cups of it in a large bowl with 2 eggs, 1 yolk from a third egg, 1½ cups heavy cream, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest. Place the mixture into an unbaked pie shell, then back at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and tightly packed
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Instructions

  • Spread out the nuts on a pan and bake for 10 minutes at 400˚F. Watch them carefully, because you can burn them before you know it!
  • In a blender combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, pepper and olive oil. Blend at a high speed until smooth, then put the paste in a bowl and add Parmesan cheese.
  • Give the mixture a good stir to incorporate the cheese and it’s ready to fold into your favorite pasta.
  • I use about 1/2 cup of pesto per pound of cooked pasta. What you don’t use, you can freeze.
Basil pest pasta!

Recipe from P. Allen Smith’s Veggies & Herbs card collection, featuring 27 of Smith’s favorite herbs and vegetables, as well as corresponding recipes for a true garden-to-table experience. Browse this and other P. Allen Smith books and publications at www.pallensmith.com.

P. Allen Smith