Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta

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The garnish of this fall version of pesto, fried sage leaves, add a nice herbal crunch. Slideshow:  More Pasta Recipes 

Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
Yield:
4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sage leaves

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 1/2 cups flat leaf parsley

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts

  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 1 pound spiral pasta

Directions

  1. In a medium heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Fry 1/4 cup of the sage leaves until crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain. Let the oil cool to room temperature.

  2. In a food processor with the motor running, drop in the garlic and finely chop. Add 3/4 cup of the walnuts, the cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse to finely chop. Add the parsley and the remaining 1/2 cup sage leaves and pulse to finely chop. With the motor running, add the cooled oil, blending to combine.

  3. 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 the pasta to taste with salt and pepper, then serve sprinkled with the fried sage leaves and the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts.

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