Sicilian Tomato Pesto
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1/4 cup pinenuts
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the pine nuts. Stirring constantly, cook the pine nuts until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately.
Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in a blender or a food processor and blend at high speed until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides. Add 1/2 cup cheese and red pepper and pulse a few times to make a thick paste. Fold the tomatoes into the pesto. Season with salt and pepper.