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Face Magazine of Acadiana

Authentic Italian Cuisine

Jun 04, 2018 03:31AM ● By Family Features
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Savory dishes featuring pesto

One of the best times of each day is gathering with family members to enjoy home-cooked meals. Using fresh and versatile ingredients, adults can be at ease that everyone is eating right with a nutritious dinner and kids are eating something delicious and relaxing each evening.

Pesto can be used as an ingredient in many recipes and brings a punch of flavor to each dish on the table. For example, it can be served mixed in potatoes, as a spread on sandwiches, dolloped on soups or dips and as a sauce on pasta.

With authentic Italian taste capturing the recipes of the region, Filippo Berio Pestos are made to suit any taste. The versatile flavors include Classic Basil, Sun Dried Tomato, Tomato & Ricotta and Hot Chili and Olive. Each variety is vegetarian, gluten-free and GMO-free, making it the perfect addition to any dinner.

Pesto can be served hot or cold, so it is easy to cook with or add to dishes featuring fresh vegetables, like this recipe for Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. Add Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins to the meal for a fun twist on muffins.

For a more traditional meal the whole family can enjoy, try this Tomato and Tortellini Soup made with Tomato & Ricotta Pesto. This pesto is based on an age-old Sicilian recipe, combining the sweetness of tomatoes with the smoothness of ricotta cheese and the rich taste of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

For more flavorful recipes and ways to cook with pesto, visit FilippoBerio.com.

Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, divided
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          egg
  • 1          cup shredded zucchini
  • 2          green onions, finely chopped
  • 12        cubes (1/2 inch each) fontina cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with large paper liners.
  2.  
  3. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup pesto, olive oil, milk, sugar and egg; stir into flour mixture until moistened. Fold in zucchini and green onions.
  4. Divide half the batter evenly among muffin cups; place cube of fontina on top of batter. Top each with 1 teaspoon remaining pesto; top with remaining batter.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and top of muffin springs back when pressed lightly. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

Tip: To make extra savory, add 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon.

Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 2          small spaghetti squash
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Robusto Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 12        ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Classic Pesto
  • 1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds; drizzle cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake, cut sides down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet 45-50 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Using fork, scrape strands of squash into bowl; reserve squash shells.
  2. In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, onion and remaining salt and pepper about 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned. Stir in pesto; bring to simmer. Cook about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cherry tomatoes; cook about 1 minute, or until slightly softened.
  3. Toss spaghetti squash with chicken mixture; divide among reserved squash shells. Top with mozzarella cheese; broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Tip: For a more savory dish, add chopped black olives or jarred artichokes, if desired.

Tomato and Tortellini Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 1          onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          carrot, diced
  • 1          stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Tomato & Ricotta Pesto
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1          can (28 ounces) whole Italian-style tomatoes
  • 4          cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          package (12 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil; cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add pesto, basil, oregano and chili flakes; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  2. In blender or using immersion blender, puree tomato mixture; return to pan and bring to simmer. Add tortellini; cook 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan.

Tip: Dried basil can be substituted for 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, if desired.

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