Best Pesto Recipe & Three ways to use it – Roasted Red pepper Bruschetta, Italian BLT and Asparagus Pasta Salad

May 31, 2020

Author: KatieChin

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Hi Cooped Up Cooking with Katie Fans!  Here are the 3 recipes for today’s show at 3pm PST  –   Follow me here on Facebook or IG to tune-in!!

Best Pesto Sauce


  • 3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 3 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½  cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 Tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste
  •  ½  cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine the garlic, pine nuts, basil, parsley, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper until a smooth paste is formed.

With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the EVOO until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

Pesto & Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta


For the bread:

  • large baguette, sliced ¼” thick on the bias
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup homeade pesto sauce
  • 1/2 cup store-bought red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)


Toast the bread:  Brush bread on both sides lightly with oil and place on large baking sheet. Toast bread until golden, 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Let bread cool for 5 minutes, then rub tops of bread with halved garlic cloves.

Spread some of the pesto onto bread slices.  Top with some Ricotta cheese and then top with roasted bell pepper slices.  Garnish with basil ribbons and serve.

Italian BLT with Pesto Mayo


  • 4 sandwich buns of choice
  • 1/4 cup homemade pesto sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup arugula leaves
  • 8 slices cooked bacon or prosciutto
  • 8 slices tomato


Mix the pesto sauce and mayo together in a small bowl

Spread the pesto mayo mixture onto each bun.  Layer each bun with two slices, two slices tomato and top with arugula leaves.  Serve.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes


  • 8 oz dried rotelli pasta
  • 1 cup chopped cooked asparagus
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup homeade pesto sauce
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish


Make pasta according to directions on package.  Drain, rinse and toss with a bit of olive oil.

Combine the cooked pasta with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and pesto sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with minced parsley.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.