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Nut-Free Pesto

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Nut-Free Pesto

Will make a serving of 4 when tossed with pasta.

To replace the nuts, we are using whole white mushrooms. Nut option is below along with serving recommendation.



10 medium mushrooms (instead of pine nuts)

506 ounces (50 g) sun-dried tomatoes in oil

2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste

Handful (approximately 10) fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for cooking)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Sea salt and pepper to taste



Begin by pureeing everything, but the garlic and cheese in a blender or food processor. Add as much room temperature water as needed to make a smooth paste. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.


In a saucepan, cook the garlic on medium heat with a touch of olive oil for 2-minutes.


After 2 minutes, reduce heat to low and stir in the pesto. Add the Parmesan cheese and continue to stir to mix well and heat, just enough that it is warm, but not bubbling. You don’t want to overcook it, so low heat is good.


Cooking Lesson

Why cook the garlic and not just add it to the pesto while blending?

This is all about the flavor. Cooking the garlic just enough to release the oils and bring out all the flavors.


Serving Recommendation

If serving with pasta, reserve a 1/3 of a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Immediately toss warm pesto with hot pasta and serve. If you find the pesto is too thick and not combining well with the pasta, stir in the reserved hot pasta water.




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Sun-dried Tomato & Cashew Pesto



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© 2014 Contagiously Positive
All rights reserved
Website by Monolith Digital