About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Pasta and Pesto with Potatoes and Green Beans | Main | Black Truffle Sauce »

Pesto with Ricotta

I was so glad that the timing of this recipe worked out to correspond with my first basil harvest of the year. Over the years I have given up growing anything except some herbs. Now, I have basil, rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley, and marjoram. Oh, and I guess you can include nasturtiums. I love to include the blooms in a salad. The last time I grew tomatoes, I had a squirrel pick one and run up to the ledge across from my back door. He then proceeded to look me in the eye while he took the first bite. I couldn’t believe it. If you are going to steal my produce at least have the decency to take it and run. Anyway, I digress.


This is a new take on my normal pesto recipe. I usually use just romano cheese and certainly not any butter. Over the years I have tried just about every permutation that you can imagine. I have tried toasted pine nuts, walnuts, parsley, sundried tomatoes, and arugula. All of these had strong points, but I have to say the mixture of the butter and the ricotta seemed to bring out the flavors of the pesto better than anything else that I have tried. I don’t know if it just coated the pasta strands better or if it just deepened the overall flavor, but I was really impressed with the result. Another winner! I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


Now, I just have to figure out where to find 2 pounds of fish heads here in the city for my next recipe!!

Comments (4)

I've never made pesto with butter either. But after these last two posts, I will.

Beth, you can by all the whole fish you want at global foods. Cut off the heads for your recipes and use the rest for another purpose.

Marcella Hazan:

Did I have this with linguine in my book? I can't remember and I don't want to go look it up. It's not so important. Keep in mind though, that pesto with ricotta is particularly good with what Ligurian cooks call piccagge - "dish cloths" - homemade pasta rectangles that are like the ones that you layer to make lasagne, except that these aren't layered and aren't baked. They are just boiled. drained, and spread out on your plate before coating them with ricotta pesto.

I am so pleased that you are discovering and enjoying these old recipes.

(Deborah here...)
Marcella, you did recommend piccagge for this dish. You described it on page 221 along with the recipe for Lasagne with Ricotta Pesto. So, even though Beth used linguini as an optional pasta...you will see that on July 17th, either Jerry or Palma will be making piccagge. Yum.

Marcella - hold on to that thought for a few days. *smile*

I agree that this was a great pestp recipe - I liked the way the ricotta blended in the sauce to smooth out the flavours. Molto bene!

I lovelovelove pesto and make plenty in the summer to use all year long. Because of the origins of the recipe (Marcella Hazan!) and all the positive feedback, I'm going to break with my traditional recipe and give this one a try. thanks to everyone!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 13, 2010 8:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Pasta and Pesto with Potatoes and Green Beans.

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