Giovanni Rana Simply Italian Pesto Sauce Recipes

As part of the launch of new authentic flavours of Italy from Giovanni Rana, I was given some sauces to try, but in a new and exciting way. The Pesto sauce was one I was struggling to decide what  to create, not because I was limited to option, but quite the opposite. I had so many ideas of what I could do with the versatile sauce, I didn't know which to try first.
When I first opened the pot, I was surprised by the texture as it was quite hard. I am used to quite running textured pesto that can almost be pours, but this had to be dug out the pot. It did make it awkward for spreading, but the flavour was amazing and melted fine when warmed up.

Pesto Homous
My first idea was when I was making my packed lunch and getting my homous ready to take to work. I took a small pot of the pesto and when I was at work, I added a little to the top of a rice cake. The homous and pesto texture was delicious and worked well with the refreshing cucumber.
Another idea I had was one of my favourite foods...Salmon. I have tried this combination before so wanted to see what it was like with the Giovanni Rana pesto.
Pesto Salmon with Spinach Bulgur Wheat
1. Finely slice a red onion and place on some foil. Place a piece of salmon on top and spread a tablespoon of the pesto sauce over the fish. Wrap in the foil and bake until cooked through.
2. Meanwhile cook the Bulgur wheat as packet instruction. I boiled it with a couple of lumps of frozen spinach and peas.
3. Stir though a teaspoon of pesto and enjoy with the fish 
The pesto was amazing with the fish and although it was difficult to spread the sauce on the uncooked salmon, it almost melted or softened whilst in the oven and created a great texture with the pine nuts.
The Bulgur wheat also worked well with the addition of some pesto and the leftovers were great for lunch (and dinner) the next day. It would also work well through rice or cous cous and would be another great way to try using up the leftovers. 

My final idea was another simple one using halloumi cheese after seeing a recipe that inspired me.
Griddled vegetables and pesto halloumi recipe
1. Cut peppers, red onion, and courgettes into thin slices and place on the griddle pan.
2. When one side is cooked, turn over and add slices of halloumi 
3. When everything is cooked, spoon over some pesto onto the halloumi and serve up
I had mine on a bed of lettuce and leftover bulgur wheat and it was great. The pesto worked really well with the salty halloumi, and next time I would also spread it over the vegetables.
I loved this sauce. Although the texture initally put me off, the flavour was intense and strong, which meant you didn't need much for a meal and felt like you could make it stretch a long way. The pesto sauce would make a perfect ingredient to have to create a delicious BBQ, to top vegetables, fish or meat.
Some other ideas that I had for this sauce included cheese and pesto puff pastry twists, baked in a savoury muffin, or even used as the base of a pizza. Find out more about the products here
Disclaimer: I was sent these products to review, but as always, all opinions are my own.


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