Toasted hazelnuts are a fun substitution for the typical pine nuts usually found in pesto.
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2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup hazelnuts, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins.
In a food processor with the motor running, drop in the garlic and finely chop. Add 1/2 cup of the nuts, cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse to finely chop. Add the parsley and pulse to finely chop. With the motor running, add the oil, blending to combine.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the pesto and about half the reserved cooking water. Add more water for a looser consistency.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve, sprinkled with additional hazelnuts and the parsley leaves.
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