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All About Pesto
I have always loved pesto. Well, I love basil in general, so anything basil is good to me! If you’re not familiar with pesto, it is typically made with basil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, a nut of some kind, and oil. It is delicious on pasta, as a spread or dip, as a marinade, and so on! If you feel overwhelmed about how to use it, keep reading! I have a few family favorite recipes ahead to share with you.
My recent favorite pesto find is the Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto. It is SO delicious, flavorful, vibrant, and most of all – creamy! Whether you want to spread it on a sandwich or stir it into warm pasta, it is truly the creamiest pesto I’ve ever tried. This pesto is made with cashews which lend to that creamy characteristic!
How to Use Pesto
Are you ready to buy a jar of pesto but not quite sure what you’re going to do with it? Look no further, friend. I am about to give you the best ways to use your small but mighty super ingredient!
Pesto is more versatile than many people realize!
Seek inspiration from some of these pesto uses:
- Stir into pasta
- Stir into pasta sauce (a tomato base or alfredo sauce both work beautifully when mixed with pesto!)
- Spread onto a sandwich
- Mix with sour cream or yogurt to create a veggie dip
- Marinate meat in it
- Mix with butter to create a pesto butter to serve over grilled meats
Farver Family Favorite Pesto Recipes
Here are two ways my family uses one jar of Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto to make two different dinners! The jar of pesto will keep in the fridge after being opened for 5 days, so I can get by with using it two different nights! These recipes are KID APPROVED in this household & so simple for busy weeknights!
Creamy Pesto & Grilled Halloumi Sandwiches (customizable!)
These are one of our favorites here and we mix this recipe up a lot! You can substitute the halloumi for a protein like chicken OR do both the halloumi & a protein like chicken, ham, etc.
- Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto
- Halloumi Cheese
- Ciabatta Rolls
- Sandwich toppings (tomato, argula, onions, etc.)
When it comes to the actual recipe, it is very simple and is really just heating up & assembling!
1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. Slice ciabatta rolls in half & place directly on oven rack, toast for 4-5 minutes or until toasted
3. While the ciabatta is toasting, place grill skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil
4. Grill halloumi for 2-3 minutes on each side
5. Spread pesto on the inside of ciabatta rolls, add halloumi on top, add toppings, add top ciabatta roll
6. Devour & thank me later
Creamy Pesto Marinara Pasta
For this recipe, I just use jarred spaghetti sauce, but you could use homemade spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, or even sub the tomato based sauce for alfredo! It just adds a whole new complex flavor level to your standard spaghetti/pasta night and my kids love it!
- Any kind of pasta (I switch it up every single week from normal spaghetti to something fun like these Cellentani noodles)
- Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto
- Pasta sauce of your choice (I just use traditional jarred spaghetti sauce)
This is another super simple recipe in the way that I don’t even really need to give you a “recipe”, so to speak. You’ll just cook the pasta as directed on the box, heat the sauce, and then take the heated sauce and add a dollop of pesto to it! You can stir in as little or as much pesto as you want to achieve the flavor profile you’re looking for! It just levels up a standard pasta & sauce combo! This specific pesto is so creamy that it just melts right into the sauce so perfectly!
If you have kids who are anti-green foods, using the pesto to mix into a red sauce or even marinate chicken in may be a way to incorporate it and get the whole family to eat it! If you’re looking for the Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto, you can find it at Target, Publix, Stop & Shop, Meijer, ShopRite, Hy-Vee, Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, and more! Let me know in the comments how you enjoy pesto or if you try either of my favorite pesto recipes!