Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Red Chiles, Pine Nuts and Pecorino Cheese

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Red Chiles, Pine Nuts and Pecorino Cheese

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Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 dried red chiles (New Mexico or Ancho work well)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Cut open the dried chiles and remove the seeds and stems. Soak the chiles in boiling water for 20 minutes, drain and coarsely chop. (Chef’s note: Freeze the soaking liquid for the next time you make soup!)

Roast the bell peppers over an outdoor grill, an open gas flame or under your broiler, turning occasionally, until blackened all over. Place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes. Cut the ends off the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out and then turn them over and scrape off as much of the blackened peel as you can. (It won’t hurt anyone’s feelings if a little peel remains!)

Place the chiles, roasted peppers, garlic, Pecorino Romano, pine nuts and salt in a food processor and blend coarsely. Scrape down the sides and add 1/3 cup of olive oil. Blend to a paste and add more olive oil if needed.