This is a recipe that was shared by one of our customers. She loves to use Papa Vince ingredients to create authentic Italian dishes.
Traditional basil pesto, a well-known and well-loved Italian sauce, was the inspiration for this recipe. Its simplicity allows each ingredient to shine through and when crushed together, or pestare in Italian, creates a perfect balance of flavor.
Pesto is an ideal meal for busy nights, everything comes together effortlessly in the food processor and often the longest wait is for the pasta to boil.
In an attempt to bring the fresh flavor of pesto to an otherwise grey winter day, this recipe emerged. However, living in a cooler climate, a recent toddler mishap involving an indoor basil plant- toddler 1: basil plant 0, and always trying to eat as seasonally as possible, I chose radicchio to be the star this time. While radicchio can be bitter and an otherwise grown-up taste, grilling or broiling it lightly mellows the bitterness and adds a creamy texture to the sauce.
In addition to being in season, radicchio has amazing health benefits. It promotes healthy digestion, is a great source of Vitamin K and Vitamin C, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and a big plus for this time of year, helps increase immunity. The six cloves of garlic in this recipe is another big immunity booster, even if its through scaring away any possible human contact.
The beauty of pesto is the opportunity to adapt the recipe to the suit your tastes. Add more garlic for a nice sharp bite, more cheese for a creamier, saltier sauce, or more Papa Vince EVOO for a lighter and more mellow flavor.
An important ingredient to note is the addition of the Papa Vince Moscato vinegar. After making the sauce initially, it felt like something was missing. Looking over all of my ingredients, I realized I had forgotten the vinegar. After the addition, the sauce became a little sweeter and it brightened the flavor.
While I served this over pasta initially, there are a multitude of ways this sauce can be enjoyed. The pesto can be used as a dip for veggies, or my favorite way, is over navy beans, which have been warmed with a little butter and EVOO.
Beautiful colors and inviting flavors will make this hearty side dish a keeper in your recipe box.