This inventive dish from Marco Porceddu at Asellina in New York City reinterprets the classic sauce into a sweet dessert. See the recipe for Pesto Panna Cotta » [Back to Glorious Pesto ». Todd Coleman
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This inventive dish from Marco Porceddu at Asellina in New York City reinterprets the classic sauce into a sweet dessert, accompanied by a tomato sorbet and candied pine nuts. This recipe first appeared in SAVEUR Issue #140, along with Laura Schenone’s story Glorious Pesto.

Pesto Panna Cotta Pesto Panna Cotta
This inventive dish from Marco Porceddu at Asellina in New York City reinterprets the classic basil sauce into a sweet dessert, accompanied by a tomato sorbet and candied pine nuts.
Yield: serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 (1/4-oz.) packages unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 13 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 14 cups sugar
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Cherry tomato quarters, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the panna cotta: In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over ⅓ cup milk; let sit for 10 minutes. Bring remaining milk along with the cream, basil, and ¾ cup sugar to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a blender, add gelatin mixture, and puree until smooth; pour into eight 4-oz. ramekins. Chill until firm, 3–4 hours.
  2. Make the sorbet: Bring remaining sugar, tomatoes, salt, and ½ cup water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, 12–15 minutes. Puree in a blender; strain and chill. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until firm.
  3. Make the candied pine nuts: Heat sugar and 1 tbsp. water in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, and cook, swirling, until bubbling; add pine nuts and coat. Spread nuts on a sheet of foil; cool. Break apart into bite-size pieces; set aside. To serve, briefly dip the bottom of each ramekin in a bowl of hot tap water, invert onto a serving plate; top with nuts. Serve with a scoop of tomato sorbet topped with cherry tomatoes.

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