How Do You Heat Pesto?

By MattH

Pesto is a classic sauce that can be added to a variety of dishes to give them a burst of fresh basil flavor. Whether you are using it as a dip or adding it to pasta it can add a new dimension to almost any dish. Basil, one of the main ingredients, creates a special limitation to cooking with pesto. When attempting to heat pesto, the basil can develop an undesirable bitter flavor. Luckily there are a few techniques that can help you heat pesto indirectly and preserve the flavor.

A pasta dish with pesto added has a pleasingly green color.

Add Pesto to Pasta

Step 1

Cook pasta and drain.

Step 2

Return the pasta to the pot that you cooked it in.

Step 3

Place a saucepan onto the burner and turn it to its lowest setting. Add pesto and stir constantly just until its consistency changes from thick to thin. Remove from heat immediately so as not to overcook.

Step 4

Add heated pesto to the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Serve hot.

Pesto Bread

Step 5

Cut a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise.

Step 6

Use a spatula to spread pesto in a thin coat over the bread.

Step 7

Lightly brush olive oil over the top of the pesto with a basting brush.

Step 8

Set oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bread directly onto the baking rack.

Step 9

Remove as soon as bread has browned and crisped. Serve with a main course that also uses pesto, if desired.