Got basil?

Adding tomatoes makes this pesto different and especially summery good! Small disclaimer: this kat’s not Sicilian. But I was born and raised in Melilli’s sister city, and many of those closest to me are–at least in part–so let’s say I’m Sicilian by association, thereby qualified to share this particular recipe with you.

San Marzanos from the deck

With basil blowing up outside and too many tomatoes, this recipe perfectly combines what’s fresh and plentiful in a variation on the pesto you already know and love.

Bountiful basil: lemon, cinnamon and Genovese

adapted from Cooking Light

¼ cup pine nuts
3  garlic cloves
4  cups  loosely packed basil leaves (about 2 ounces)
¼  cup  extra-virgin olive oil
½  teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
¼  teaspoon  crushed red pepper (I use Penzey’s Aleppo)
½  cup grated Pecorino Romano
2  cups  chopped seeded tomato (I used a combo of San Marzanos and Cherokee Purples)

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to pan; cook until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes, shaking the pan constantly.

Add nuts and garlic to food processor; process till minced.

Feline supervision is key!

Add basil, oil, salt and peppers; process until blended, scraping sides as needed. Add cheese; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl; fold in tomato. Toss with pasta of your choice.

Dinner is served--dig in!

Makes about 2.5 cups of pesto. Be sure to save at least a few tablespoons ’cause I’ll be back with another way to use the pesto later this week. Till then, ciao for now!