5 Delicious Pesto Recipes

Tue, 24 Jul 2018

Sacla’, pioneers of Pesto have collaborated with busy mother of three and renowned TV chef Rachel Allen to compile a covetable new book “La Famiglia – The Family Book of Pesto.”

Rachel Allen

The book is an epic recipe reference with four chapters, starting with Brilliant Beginnings, Middle of the Day, Midweek Madness and Weekend Gatherings featuring everything from Quick Piadinas by Rachel and Pesto Fish Fingers by Sacla’, an unctuous baked pasta, a hearty Lamb Ragu or Pesto Roast Chicken.

We all know kids love Pesto and there’s heaps of opportunities for kids to get involved. As Rachel says in the book, Pesto is a “magic wand’ in the kitchen which allows the store cupboard marvel to transform virtually anything in the kitchen be it a pizza, a bowl of pasta, sandwiches or soups.

Rachel says “Pesto has always been one of my ‘go-to’ ingredients so I am delighted to be working with Sacla’ to bring you this collection of recipes to inspire you and delight your family.”

Although the book is unfortunately not available in Ireland we have 3 recipes for you to try and that’s not all we have 10 books to giveaway on our Instagram page.

Baked Tomato & Basil Pesto Omelette

This special omelette takes a little bit of time to create, but it’s worth the effort for Sunday mornings, with the family. It’s lovely for lunch or supper too, with a tomato salad and some olive tapenade. 

Serves 6-8

For the tomato and thyme layers:

  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ jar Sacla’ Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g Gruyere cheese, grated

For the Basil Pesto layer:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • ¼ jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
  • Salt and pepper 
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 15g Parmesan

Method

  1. First, preheat an oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C. Line the base of a 12-inch loaf tin with parchment paper. For the tomato and thyme layers, whisk the eggs in a bowl with the milk, chopped thyme and the tomato Pesto and season. Place a large frying pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil. Swirl the pan so that the oil is covering the base then pour in the whisked egg mixture. Stir for about 3-4 minutes until you have a softly scrambled egg mixture. Tip half of it into the lined loaf tin, keeping the remainder for later.
  2. Scatter over the grated Gruyere cheese and press down gently to flatten it.
  3. Next, make the Basil Pesto layer. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the milk and Basil Pesto, and then season to taste.
  4. Place a clean frying pan on a medium heat, add the olive oil, swirl and then pour in all the basil egg mixture. Cook as before so that you have a softly scrambled egg and tip into the tin, over the cheese pressing it gently to even it out.
  5. Scatter the grated Parmesan over the top then layer with the remaining tomato eggs, making sure to flatten everything out. Cover with a layer of parchment paper.
  6. Place the tin it in a small roasting tray, half filled with boiling water. This is your bain marie, which will stop your omelette drying out whilst it’s cooking.
  7. Cook in the bain marie in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until set. It should have a gentle spring in the centre when pressed with your finger, and a skewer will come out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with crusty bread.
  9. Make it yours – This recipe works perfectly with a combination of Coriander Pesto and Chilli Pesto for an Asian twist.

Penne With Salmon, Peas & Chilli Pesto

Many families love chilli and so this recipe, using Sacla’ Fiery Chilli Pesto, is a real crowd pleaser. I like to use wholewheat pasta for that extra bit of nourishment and some chilli flakes for a little more heat.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 400g penne
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g salmon, filleted and skinned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200ml double cream
  • ¼ jar Sacla’ Fiery
  • Chilli Pesto
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 150g frozen peas 
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Chilli flakes, to taste

Method:

  • Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8–10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Drain the pasta but reserve 150ml of the cooking water to add to the pasta sauce if it becomes too thick.
  • While the pasta is cooking, warm up a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the butter and the olive oil,
  • and when the butter is foaming place the salmon in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cook for 3 minutes until it is golden underneath, then turn over, and cook until golden on the other side. Remove from the pan.
  • In the same pan, add the cream, Pesto and Dijon mustard and season with a little salt and pepper. Warm through, flake in the salmon and add the frozen peas. Cook for a minute until the peas are defrosted and hot, taking care not to break up the salmon too much. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Combine the pasta and sauce over medium heat and stir gently, adding some pasta cooking water if it needs loosening. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley and chilli flakes.

Chicken with Pesto Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Couscous is quick to prepare and fool proof. It offers endless possibilities so you can have great fun creating your own masterpiece, using different combinations of vegetables and protein.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes, cubed
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g small vine- ripened tomatoes
  • 8 asparagus spears, chopped into 2½cm/1in pieces
  • 8 chicken mini breast fillets
  • Salt and pepper 150g
  • Couscous 1 jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
  • 250g Ricotta
  • Fresh basil

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C. Put the courgettes on a baking tray and drizzle with
  2. 2 tbsp of the olive oil until coated. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then add the tomatoes and asparagus along with another 2 tbsp oil. Roast for another 10 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, season the chicken and fry with a little oil until the chicken is cooked through. Cook the couscous according to pack instructions and fluff up with a fork. Mix half of the Pesto with the remaining oil and stir through the couscous. Top the couscous with the roasted vegetables, the chicken breasts and dollop on the Ricotta and remaining Pesto.
  3. Serve, scattered with basil.
  4. Make it yours For any vegetarians amongst you, swap the chicken with halloumi cheese and use Sacla’ Free From Pesto.

Fusilli With Tomato Pesto, Chorizo & Rosemary

Serves 4 

Ingredients

  • 400g fusilli pasta
  • 150g chorizo, skinned and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml double cream
  • ½ jar Sacla’ Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated plus extra for sprinkling
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Add the fusilli, return to the boil and cook for about 8 minutes
  2. or until cooked to your liking. Drain the pasta but reserve 150ml/5floz of the cooking water as this is very useful for adding to the pasta sauce if it becomes too thick, or stirring into the pasta itself if you’re waiting for the sauce to cook and the pasta starts to stick. It’s not necessary to add oil or butter to the pasta once it’s drained.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, put the chorizo in a cool pan with the olive oil, then place on a low-to-medium heat
  4. and cook for just a couple of minutes until the chorizo starts to look shiny and oily. Don’t brown the chorizo as
  5. it can burn easily, just soften it. Add the cream, tomato pesto, chopped rosemary and the grated Parmesan, mixing well. Bring to the boil, and cook for a couple of minutes until it’s all blended together beautifully. Season to taste.
  6. Finally, combine the pasta and sauce over a medium heat and stir gently, adding some pasta cooking water if it
  7. needs loosening. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.
  8. Make it yours – If you really love the heat, try this recipe with Sacla’ Fiery Chilli Pesto.

Piadina

This is a play on the classic piadina that hails from the Romagna region of Italy. Children love them and they can create their own toppings and ‘build’ them with you – an alternative to Mexican fajitas for any time in the week.

Makes 6 piadina

For the Piadina

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 65ml warm milk
  • 65ml warm water

For the topping

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ¼ jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
  • Handful of rocket leaves
  • 25g Cheddar, grated
  • 200g cooked chicken breast, shredded into long thin strips
  • 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • Half a lime

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and mix until evenly crumbly. Make
  2. a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk and water. Mix with your hands (or with a wooden spoon) until the dough become soft, but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until it is soft and smooth. Divide into 6 pieces, each about 60g in weight. Roll each piece into a ball and place the balls on a flour-dusted surface. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film for 30 minutes, or they can go into the fridge overnight.
  3. When you’re ready to cook the piadina, heat a frying pan or grill-pan over a medium-to-high heat. Working with one ball at a time, roll the dough into a disc approximately 12cm/4½in in diameter and about 2mm thick. Gently place the dough into the hot pan – no oil is needed. Cook each piadina over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly golden but still pliable, then wrap in a clean tea towel immediately to trap the steam and prevent the piadina from getting brittle while cooling. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
  4. When you’ve cooked all of them, the fun really starts! Mix the mayonnaise with the basil Pesto in a bowl. Place
  5. each piadina on a plate or worktop and spread half the surface with the basil mayonnaise. Arrange rocket leaves on top then scatter each with grated cheese, shredded chicken and a dollop of yoghurt followed by a squeeze of lime juice. Fold in half and tuck in!
  6. Make it yours –Of course, you can use shop-bought wraps and piadina (sometimes called piada) – the trick here is to experiment

 

 

 

 

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