You can find artichoke pesto in jars, but making it is easy and you can adjust all those flavors to your own taste.
1 (14-ounce) can petite artichoke hearts (not marinated), drained or 8 ounces fresh, trimmed artichoke hearts
2 medium cloves garlic
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves, plus a couple of leaves for garnish
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for tossing into hot pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black or white pepper, optional
1 pound pasta, your choice
Put all ingredients except for the olive oil and pasta into a food processor or blender and process to a smooth paste. Then, pour in the olive oil through the opening on top of the appliance and blend. Scrape pesto into a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and optional pepper.
For pasta: Be sure to cook the pasta in lightly salted water with no oil. Drain it well, but reserve a little of the pasta cooking water. Pour pasta into a bowl and add the pesto, tossing lightly until it is combined. If the mixture seems stiff, pour in some of the pasta cooking water, a little at a time, to loosen it up. Serve right away with more grated cheese.
Makes 4-6 servings.
From Bonnie Walker
Photo by Bonnie Walker