Pesto is a popular Italian sauce that is traditionally made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. While making pesto from scratch can be a labor-intensive process, many people opt for store-bought varieties for convenience. However, store-bought pesto can sometimes lack the rich and creamy texture of homemade pesto. Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques that you can use to transform your store-bought pesto into a luxurious and flavorful sauce.
Transform Your Store-Bought Pesto
Add cream or milk
One of the easiest ways to make store-bought pesto creamier is to add cream or milk. This will not only make the pesto creamier but also mellow out any sharp flavors. Start by adding a tablespoon or two of cream or milk to your pesto and mix well. You can adjust the amount based on your taste preferences.
Butter is another ingredient that can help make your pesto creamier. Simply melt a tablespoon or two of unsalted butter and stir it into your pesto. This will give your sauce a rich and velvety texture.
Toasting nuts before adding them to your pesto can add depth and nuttiness to the sauce. Simply toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are golden brown and fragrant. Let them cool, then chop them finely and add them to your pesto.
Add more cheese
Adding more cheese to your store-bought pesto can help thicken the sauce and give it a richer flavor. Grate some additional Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese and stir it into your pesto until it reaches your desired consistency.
Blend with a food processor
If you want to take your pesto to the next level, consider blending it with a food processor or blender. This will help to break down the ingredients and create a smooth and creamy sauce. Simply add your pesto to the food processor or blender, along with any additional ingredients, and blend until smooth.
How much cream or milk should I add to my store-bought pesto?
It depends on your personal taste preferences and the consistency of your pesto. Start by adding a tablespoon or two of cream or milk and mix well. You can always add more if you want a creamier sauce.
Can I use any type of nuts for my pesto?
Traditionally, pine nuts are used in pesto, but you can use any type of nuts that you like, such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios. Toasting the nuts before adding them to your pesto will bring out their flavor.
Can I make these changes to any brand of store-bought pesto?
Yes, these techniques can be used with any brand of store-bought pesto. However, keep in mind that the flavors and consistency of different brands may vary, so you may need to adjust the amount of ingredients you add accordingly.
By following these simple techniques, you can easily transform your store-bought pesto into a luxurious and flavorful sauce that will elevate any dish. Whether you’re making pasta, spreading it on bread, or using it as a marinade, these tips will help you achieve a creamy and delicious pesto every time.