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.
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1⁄2 small yellow onion, minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and minced
- 1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1⁄3 cup packed basil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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.