Anne Burrell Proves Now Really Is the Time for Pesto

She shared a recipe on the Food Network Kitchen app that you can make right now.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Sausage, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Sausage, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Anders Krusberg

Anders Krusberg

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It’s July and the sun is out and the air is warm and the smell of basil is in the air. It’s time for pesto!

Except that’s not our reality right now.

It’s November and we haven’t seen the sun in days and the air is so cold it hurts our faces. This is no time for fresh basil, so it’s not time for pesto, right?

Wrong. It’s always time for pesto, though the kind you make in the colder months will look a little different than the traditional summertime version.

During her recent Live class on the Food Network Kitchen app, Anne Burrell introduced a recipe for Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Sausage, which brilliantly looks and tastes a lot like the classic basil-laced pesto you know and love, but it’s made with broccoli rabe — which actually is in season right now. The key to making pesto is to think of it less as a strict recipe and more of a blueprint. You need something to ground the mixture, something hearty and solidifying. It doesn’t have to be herbs and it doesn’t even have to be green. See: sun-dried tomato pesto! Anne uses the broccoli rabe to get the job done here, but kale, arugula and parsley are also solid options. Beyond that, you’ll need nuts (pine nuts are classic, but Anne uses pistachios, and walnuts and almonds are great too), cheese for salt and flavor (Parmesan is classic, but pecorino works too), and oil to emulsify. Blend it up and you’ve got pesto. That’s it! Use this technique to experiment with the flavors and ingredients that you have on hand and are in season right now.

Check out Anne’s now-on-demand class in the all-new Food Network Kitchen app to learn how she utilizes this pesto in her pasta with sausage, and browse more of her ready-to-watch classes. She has more ideas for Italian pasta dishes, plus Thanksgiving favorites and even impressive breakfasts.

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