Looking to make a lighter pesto, America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook took out the nuts and added a surprise ingredient!
- 1⁄2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 10 ounces white button mushrooms, trimmed, sliced thin
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- 1⁄4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
- 1⁄4 cup packed fresh parsley
- Combine the dried porcini mushrooms and water in a small microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Let stand until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Lift the mushrooms from the liquid with a fork and mince. Pour the liquid through a small strainer lined with a single sheet of paper towel into a measuring cup.
- Meanwhile, combine the white mushrooms, shallot, 1 tbls. of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoons salt together in a 12" nonstick skillet. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the mushrooms release their juice, about 7 minutes.
- Uncover, increase the heat to medium high, and stir in the garlic and thyme. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the strained porcini water, scraping up any browned bits.
- Process the sauteed mushroom mixture, minced porcini, Parmesan, ricotta, parsley, and remaining 1 tbls. oil in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- When tossing the pesto with pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the consistency of the pesto.
- The pesto can be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed flush against its surface and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Do not freeze this pesto.