First off, this is not just a pesto for pasta. I use it as a dip as well as on bread in sandwiches, in baked potatoes, and on crackers. It keeps really well in an airtight container for about a week maybe even more. It’s somewhere between a humus and a pesto, so it’s really versatile. A great healthy snack, dinner sauce, lunch box dressing or dip. You can use normal paprika instead of hot, and reduce the cayenne pepper to a pinch. Also the larger the chilli the less heat and of course no seeds. Tweak it to the spice level you like. This has a slight kick but is not very hot. I also tend to serve it with coriander which gives a lovely balance.
- 1 cup of pine nuts, warmed in a pan
- ¼ cup olive oil
- large pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- large pinch of hot paprika
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 1-2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped in chunks
- 1 onion halved
- 4 cherry vine tomatoes, chopped in ¼
- Preheat your oven to 200°C. Then pop in the veg for about 20-25 minutes. I leave the skins on and remove before blitzing.
- In a warm pan, place your pine nuts to release their oil. Watch them as they burn quickly. A couple of minutes should do the trick. Then pour into your food processor.
- Add olive oil, along with the roasted ingredients, spices and seasoning to the processor and blitz until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water to loosen the mixture depending on your processor. Check the seasoning.
- Serve as a dip, spread on toast or toss in some pasta. Caramelised bacon lardons and onion go really lovely with this.