Q: Recently I picked up a wonderful book called The Italian Cooking Encyclopedia. It makes reference to a red pesto made from sweet red peppers but there isn't an actual recipe. Can you help me?
Lynne: In Italy I don't know that it's called red pepper pesto, but in the area where basil (green) pesto comes from, the Liguria and Piedmonte regions, there are some incredible sweet pepper sauces. There are lots of ways of doing them but, essentially, you roast the peppers; peel them; mince or pound them with garlic, a bit of salt, really good olive oil, basil, and walnuts or pine nuts. For variation, some people add a little hot roasted chile and others make a paste out of the walnuts and add marjoram instead of basil.