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Pasta with Pesto Calabrese
Pesto calabrese, from the Calabria region that forms the “toe” of Italy‘s boot, is a simple puree with a base of sweet red peppers, tomatoes and ricotta cheese. It often includes nuts for richness and, on occasion, cooked eggplant for added creaminess. For our version, we char fresh red bell peppers in a hot skillet to soften their crisp texture and give them a subtle smokiness. We combine them with sun-dried tomatoes for their deep, concentrated, umami-rich flavor. We skip the eggplant but do process toasted sliced almonds into the pesto, then sprinkle some onto the sauced pasta for contrasting texture.
cup sliced almonds
tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
01In a 12-inch skillet over medium, toast the almonds, stirring often, until fragrant and light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. In the same skillet over medium-high, heat the neutral oil until shimmering. Add the bell peppers, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes.
I have been a subscriber from the beginning and I am never bored and always intrigued. Thursday night after traveling the beginning of the week. I made this with no issue. I had saved the recipe a couple of weeks ago and ordered the groceries to be sure I had everything on hand. The fresh basil is key so don't go without. This is a fantastic weeknight meal. Added a side of roasted vegetables that blended nicely - both flavor and color. Don't change a thing!
made this today! i also found it heavy because of the almond base. I added fresno chilis, and then some local delicate greens on the bottom of the bowl to mix in, but not cook. this made it a little lighter and even more flavorful. served it with sfoglini brand saffron malloreddus which worked out well!
At this time we don't provide nutritional information for our recipes. However, there is a free mobile application called "myfitnesspal" that allows users to import recipes like this one to calculate the nutritional information based on the products/brands you use. I personally used it and can't recommend it enough.
The Milk Street Team
This recipe was easy to make and definitely a week- night dinner, especially if you use jarred roasted red peppers, which are delicious and an easy substitute. The almonds have a nice flavor but oddly the sauce seemed dense more than anything to me. I would probably add a little smoked paprika to enhance the red peppers and something is needed to lighted the sauce.
Got an email with this recipe today just when I needed inspiration. Really good! The pesto smells so appetizing after processing!