Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spicy Hot Jalapeňo and Basil Pesto with Pasta

This variation on the traditional basil pesto is for you folks who love hot, spicy food. I kept finding myself spreading pesto on homemade pizza and then putting jalapenos on top. Then it occurred to me to put them right into the pesto. Yum.


3 cups packed fresh basil, cleaned and de-stemmed
2 cloves of garlic sliced
¼ -½ cup olive oil (see how it goes)
¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
5 oz. Parmesan or Romano cheese cut into small chunks or slices
¼ cup chopped jalapeňo peppers (or to taste)
salt to taste
approximately 14 oz. pasta (rice, wheat, or whatever works for you)


Put all the ingredients (except the pasta of course) into a food processor and whirl until creamy smooth. Be careful with the olive oil, don’t add too much. Start out with about ¼ cup and add more if needed to get the consistency right. Also monitor how many jalapeňo peppers you include in the pesto. This recipe is not for wimps! But different people like different levels of spiciness.

Boil up the pasta as per the directions on the package. Toss the pasta with the pesto so that the pasta is evenly coated. A nice addition to this dish is chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, and/or chopped olives.

The pesto can be frozen and tastes surprisingly fresh when defrosted months (and even a year) later.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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