I've never had "proper" pesto. I'm allergic to nuts, so even when I was in beautiful Liguria- home of pesto- I couldn't try it because of the pine nuts. I recently bought a Martha Stewart cookbook that organizes recipes by month so that everything is seasonal. I found a "pumpkin seed" pesto recipe that I've been eager to try since I bought the book in August. When I finally came around to making it, I didn't have half of the ingredients that Martha's recipe listed, so I improvised and made my own.
pumpkin and squash seed pesto
1/2 cup of pumpkin and squash* seeds
a healthy handful of fresh basil and sage
2 small cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
fresh ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
grated parmesan or pecorino
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread out the seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast for 10 minutes, or until the seeds are golden brown and fragrant. Let cool, then remove the outer shell. In a food processor, combine the seeds, garlic, cinnamon, salt pepper and herbs. Pulse until everything starts to break down, and begin streaming in the olive oil. Mix until the mixture is thin enough to be a sauce. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!
*I used the butternut squash seeds left over from my risotto