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Pesto Cheesecake

This can be used as an appetizer, served with crackers.


  • 1 package fresh basil, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

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  1. Finely chop first three ingredients in food processor.
  2. With motor still running, pour olive oil slowly down feed tube; process until well incorporated.
  3. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and blend well. (If desired use 1/2 cup commercial pesto sauce.)
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  5. Rub butter over bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan.
  6. Mix breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and coat pan with the crumb mixture.
  7. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt and cayenne in a large bowl until light.
  8. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  9. Transfer half of mixture to medium bowl.
  10. Mix pesto mixture into remaining half.
  11. Pour pesto mixture into prepared pan; smooth top.
  12. Carefully spoon plain mixture over; gently smooth top.
  13. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup pine nuts and bake until center no longer moves when pan is shaken, about 45 minutes.
  14. Transfer to rack and cool completely.
  15. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.