Pasta with Nut Pesto
- SERVINGS: 12
This version of Arab-inspired casareccia con la frutta secca is adapted from Giovanna Tornabene's La Cucina Sicilian di Gangivecchio (Knopf).
Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil
- 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 medium garlic cloves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virigin olive oil
- 2 tabelspoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 pounds casareccia or penne
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the hazelnuts in a small baking pan until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer them to a clean kitchen towel and rub the nuts against each other to remove the skins; let cool completely.
- In a food processor, combine the basil, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, the grated cheese, parsley, garlic and a pinch each of salt and pepper. With the machine on, pour in the oil in a thin stream and process until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the butter and process until blended but still grainy.
- Fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add salt and the pasta. Cover partially until the water just returns to a boil, then uncover, stir the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a warmed large serving bowl. Add the nut pesto and toss to combine. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved past water if the sauce is too thick. Serve immediately.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.