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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Pantry Project: Pesto

Our friend Sandy is working to draw down her freezer reserves in preparation for the new season of garden produce, and she's wondering what to do with all her pesto. After all, there's only so much pasta that a person can eat.

We like pesto pasta as much as—probably more than—the next people, but we agree: a little bit goes a long way. Fortunately, there's pesto pizza.

When we lived in San Francisco, one of our favorite places to eat was a Chinese-Italian restaurant in the Mission district. This wasn't one of those fancy fusion places, but a busy neighborhood joint that specialized in takeout. We always ordered the same thing: pesto pizza and pot stickers. 

The pizza was elegantly simple: a thin, crunchy crust covered with a layer of pesto and sprinkled liberally with parmesan cheese. It went surprisingly well with the vinegar-dipped pot stickers. 

San Francisco is only a delightful memory at this point, but we still make the pizza whenever we need to use up some pesto.

Pesto Pizza

1. Heat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Get your crust ready. You can use either raw dough or a premade, Boboli-type crust.

3. Spread the crust with an even layer of pesto. We generally use about a cup's worth.

4. Cover the pesto with grated parmesan. You'll probably need about a cup and a half.

5. Bake until the cheese is golden; 15 to 20 minutes should be sufficient.

That's it.

This recipe is for pesto purists, but it's easy to mix it up with other flavors. You can, for instance, cover the pesto with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, or any topping you like. 

Cut into small slices, this pizza makes a great, quick appetizer.

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