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Linguine with Broccoli Rabe-Walnut Pesto
© Quentin Bacon

Linguine with Broccoli Rabe-Walnut Pesto

  • TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • VEGETARIAN

Scott Conant liked the bitterness of the broccoli rabe in this earthy pesto, made with garlic, toasted walnuts and grated salty pecorino cheese. The pesto would also work well on a wider noodle, he added, like the ribbon-shaped trenette, which is the classic shape for pesto.

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  1. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts
  2. 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  6. 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
  7. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 3/4 pound linguine
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden; let cool. Chop 2 tablespoons of the walnuts.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool under cold water. Squeeze out the excess water and coarsely chop the broccoli rabe.
  3. In a food processor, mince the garlic. Add the 1/3 cup of walnuts; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the broccoli rabe, olive oil and crushed red pepper and process until the broccoli rabe is very finely chopped. Add the 1/3 cup of pecorino and pulse until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the pesto into a large bowl.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the linguine to the pesto sauce, then stir in the reserved cooking water and toss until the pasta is well coated with the pesto sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and serve at once, passing more pecorino at the table.
Make Ahead The broccoli rabe pesto can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Floral, lightly nutty Gavi.