Pesto Calabrese Recipe | SAVEUR

Pesto Calabrese

Pesto Calabrese

This spicy, southern Italian-style pesto recipe was given to us by Rocco Arena, owner of San Rocco restaurant in New York City. A touch of ricotta in this pesto tempers the flavor of the red peppers, and makes it an excellent bruschetta topping.

See the recipe for Pesto Calabrese»

Todd Coleman

This southern Italian-style pesto recipe was given to us by Rocco Arena, owner of San Rocco restaurant in New York City. A touch of ricotta adds richness to sautéed red peppers and eggplant, making it an excellent bruschetta topping. This recipe first appeared in SAVEUR Issue #140 along with Laura Schenone's story Glorious Pesto.

Pesto Calabrese
Eggplant, red pepper, tomato, and ricotta purée into an easy sauce—toss it with pasta for weeknight dinner, or served alongside crudité at an evening soirée.
makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 12″ cubes
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
14 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
12 small yellow onion, minced
2 plum tomatoes, cored and minced
12 cup ricotta cheese
13 cup packed basil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Place eggplant in a colander and toss with 2 tsp. salt; let sit for 20 minutes. Drain eggplant and dry on paper towels; set aside.
Heat oil in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat; add pepper and onion, and cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add eggplant, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and add ricotta and basil; puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Correction: August 22, 2011 The printed version of this headnote used the word "spicy" to describe this pesto. Our version is more sweet than spicy. We have corrected the headnote to reflect this.

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