Chicago summers are usually hot and humid. We go from complaining about cold to complaining about heat in a matter of days. This summer is different. Everyone has been complaining that it isn’t hot enough. While I agree it has not felt like summer I will take an unusually mild summer over the usual any day. This past weekend we finally got into the 90’s and it felt like summer had finally arrived just as back to school sales start up. It may be strange timing but it is the perfect time for a no-cook pesto.
Even when the weather isn’t working against me, summer makes me lazy. I like this pesto (or any pesto) because it only requires the use of the food processor and takes about 5 minutes to throw together. It is great on pasta but would be also be good as a dip or even as a sandwich spread.
Roasted-Almond Ricotta Pesto with Olives (adapted from Gourmet, August 2009)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds
- 4 cups basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add almonds, basil, lemon juice, parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, then process until finely chopped. With motor running add olive oil and blend until incorporated.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in ricotta and olives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss with hot spaghetti, using some of the cooking water to thin sauce if needed.