Succulently Creamy Pesto Sauce Recipes That are So Easy to Make

Creamy pesto sauce recipe
Bring home the Italian specialty, creamy pesto sauce! This sauce will certainly make you fall for Italian cuisine.
Pesto, which originated in northern Italy, was traditionally prepared in a marble mortar and pestle. Basil, which is universally considered to be the core ingredient of pesto sauce, was not originally used for making pesto. Pesto was originally made by crushing garlic, cheese, salt, oil, and some random fresh herbs. Eventually, basil brought to Italy by Roman traders during their Asian expeditions, fast gained popularity for making pesto.
Pesto, as it is known today in America, started gaining popularity only during the '80s. While most pesto sauces available around are green in color (the green color lent by the specific use of basil), pesto, technically, is not a term for 'green Italian sauce', as mistaken by many. Pesto means anything that is a paste, and hence, pesto can be of any color; although the most popular and widely used version is the green-colored basil pesto sauce. A popular variation includes a red-colored pesto, which uses sun-dried tomatoes instead of basil or other herbs.

Mentioned here is the traditional pesto sauce recipe. Once you master the classic basic recipe, you can try its variations.
Classic Pesto (Pesto alla Genovese)
Creamy Pesto Sauce Recipes -Classic Pesto-Pesto alla Genovese
Ingredients
• 1 cup - of fresh basil leaves
• ½ cup - Parmesan cheese, grated
• 2 tbsp - pine nuts
• ½ tbsp - garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Method
In a blender, combine basil with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, and ground coarsely. Add the grated Parmesan, pine nuts and garlic. Turn on the blender again. While the blender is still running, keep drizzling olive oil, until you get a smooth, fine green-colored paste. Transfer to a bowl. (If frozen, can last up to 5 or 6 months.)
A fair bit of changes can be made to the above recipe, depending upon your taste. The quantity of garlic can be increased or decreased, depending on how sharp you want the flavor to be. The amount of olive oil too can be varied, depending on how smooth or dry you want your paste. Pine nuts can be replaced with walnuts or almonds for a sweeter, more nuttier flavor.

While it was still acquainting itself with the classic pesto, retail food manufacturers and seasoned chefs brought to America a new form of pesto - the creamy pesto. The classic pesto gets mildly propelled, courtesy, cream and/or butter. An already amazing pesto gets a shot of richness, which takes it notches higher.
3 Ingredient Creamy Pesto Sauce
Creamy Pesto Sauce Recipes -3 Ingredient Creamy Pesto Sauce
Ingredients
• 2 cups - freshly prepared Pesto alla Genovese
• 1 tbsp - olive oil
• ½ cup - heavy cream
Method
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the Pesto alla Genovese, and keep stirring continuously for about 2 - 3 minutes. Add the cream as you whisk gently. Add more cream if your sauce needs more thickening, or use warm water if it is too thick and you want to thin it.
Creamy Pesto Sauce with Onions and Sundried Tomatoes
Creamy Pesto Sauce Recipes - Creamy Pesto Sauce with Onions and Sundried Tomatoes
Ingredients
• 8 oz - sun dried tomatoes, sliced
• ¼ cup - onion, sliced
• 1 tbsp - garlic, finely chopped
• ¼ cup - white wine (any good quality white wine will do)
• ½ cup - heavy cream
• ¼ cup - freshly prepared Pesto alla Genovese
• 2 tbsp - olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Method
Heat oil in a pan. Lightly saute the onions and garlic. Add cream, white wine, and sun-dried tomatoes, and bring it to a boil. If required, cover the pan. Add the Pesto alla Genovese. Let the sauce simmer for a while. Season with salt and pepper.
Creamy Pesto Sauce with Walnuts
Creamy Pesto Sauce Recipes - Creamy Pesto Sauce with Walnuts
Ingredients
• 1 oz - walnuts, crushed
• ¼ cup - Romano cheese
• ¼ cup - Parmesan, grated
• 2 cups - fresh basil leaves
• 3 cloves - garlic, crushed
• 2 tbsp - olive oil
• Mix seasonal herbs
• Salt and pepper to taste
Method
In a blender, combine basil with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, and ground coarsely. Add the grated Parmesan, Romano, walnuts and garlic. Turn on the blender again. While the blender is still running, keep drizzling olive oil, until you get a smooth, fine green-colored paste. Sprinkle with herbs and give it a good mix. Transfer to a bowl.
While the above-written recipes for a creamy pesto sauce are as close to traditional ones, you can play around with your sauce if you are adventurous about food. Basil can be substituted with spinach, parsley, or even kale, for a different flavor. Of course, the balance of cream will have to be varied as each green's ability to blend and mix with cream is different. To vary the richness and taste of the pesto, try experimenting with different types of cheese - while Parmesan is widely used, Romano, Asiago, Mozzarella, and Gouda also add greatly to the flavor of the pesto, if used instead of or with Parmesan.

Another thing that could be tried is changing the nuts in the pesto. Every nut has a different flavor, and the classic pine nut, if substituted with almonds or walnuts, will lend a more credible nuttiness to the sauce. While pine nuts lend a delicate flavor to the pesto sauce, hazelnuts will add a certain sweetness to it. Peanuts add an unusual rustiness to the sauce. Cashews, although it sounds weird as part of pesto, do work well, as they come closest to pine nuts in terms of flavor. Toasted sunflower seeds are another option. Of course, if you are allergic to nuts, just leave them out. Creamy pesto without nuts is just about as good as the one with nuts.

While pesto as a sauce, is almost always accompanied with pasta, creamy pesto can be used to top or toss with anything - from shrimp and mussels, to baby potatoes, and even a perfectly grilled chicken breast; or just use thick pesto as dip with your chips, and enjoy your favorite batter knock the cover off that ball!