Pesto: what it is, its history, and pesto recipes.

Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce from Northern Italy made from fresh Basil, olive oil, pinenuts and parmesan cheese. Classic pestos were made by hand, pounding the ingredients until they made a smooth paste or “Pesto”.

Castlemaine Dips makes a traditional Basil and Pinenut Pesto as well as our original recipe of Sun-dried Tomato Pesto made with rich sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, walnuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese.

The classical use of Pesto is as a sauce for any kind of pasta. First cook 500 grams of pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions. After draining off the cooking water, blend a 200 gram tub of Castlemaine Dips Pesto into the noodles and stir thoroughly. You can add more parmesan cheese at this point if desired.
Then serve as an appetizer or as a main meal.

You can use pestos in many different ways.

Another excellent recipe using Castlemaine Dips Basil and Pinenut Pesto is :

Chop one onion, 2 cloves garlic, one red capsicum and gently sautee over medium heat in a large fry pan.
Add 400 grams sliced mushrooms and two large chicken breasts sliced into strips. Cook until chicken is almost done. Lower the heat to a simmer and add 125ml of cream and one generous spoonful of Basil and Pinenut Pesto. When chicken is done and cream hot the dish is ready.
Serve with rice or pasta.

Our favourite recipe using Castlemaine Dips Sun Dried Tomato Pesto is as follows:

Saute 1 large onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 medium eggplant sliced as thin as you can in a large fry pan with olive oil. Add ½ teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and basil and a dash of chilli flakes to taste. Cook until eggplant is well cooked about 25 minutes.

In a separate pot boil water for pasta. Cook 500grams of shells or penne according the the manufacturer’s directions. When al dente drain off the water and return to the pot. Mix in two tubs of Castlemaine Dips Sun Dried tomato Pesto and the eggplant mixture. Stir together. Top with more parmesan cheese and chilli flakes if desired.