Peperonata is a classic Italian summer sauce made with slow-cooked bell peppers in a fragrant tomato sauce. And as if that doesn’t sound good enough, it’s topped off with a rich and tasty homemade pecan nut pesto.
What is pesto?
Pesto originated in Genoa, Italy, and, roughly translated, means “to crush”. And let’s be honest, it can be added to basically anything and it will make it better. Between the alluring bright green colour and garlic lingering in the air, how can anyone pass on this amazing mixture?
A classic pesto combination usually contains pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. This however is far from the only combination. For example, should you not have basil available, spinach, kale or arugula make a great (deeper green) substitute.
For this recipe, however, we will be using a combination of basil leaves and parsley with pecan nuts. Pecan nuts tend to have a sweet nutty and buttery flavour, adding even more deliciousness to the pesto.
If you are going to take on the task of making this luscious herb mixture, make a big batch and pop it in the freezer. Pesto can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Pecan nut pesto
- ¾ cup pecan nuts
- 1 cup chopped parsley, lightly packed.
- 1 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil.
- ½ tsp salt.
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped.
- Black pepper to taste.
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 medium yellow onions – sliced
- 4 pounds red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers – sliced 1
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 sprigs of thyme and oregano
- 100 g parmesan cheese
- Cooked pasta of your choice
Pecan nut pesto
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until ready, add more oil if necessary. Set aside
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just starting to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in onions, increase heat to medium-high, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 20 minutes.
- Add tomato thyme and oregano sprigs and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer, then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are very soft and tomatoes are soft. Stir in more olive oil if necessary and season with salt.
- Combine the pasta with the sauce, add the parmesan cheese
- *Serve with the pesto,
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