CLASSIC pasta tagliatelle with walnut pesto
         

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From the first time we were served tagliatelle (or was it trenette) in Apollo with the local walnut pesto, we were hooked on the walnut (di once) flavor with pasta.

Pesto need not be made only with basil. The name pesto comes from mortar and pestle, the tools used to pound the basil (or walnut or whatever) into a smooth, almost cream, sauce.

for the sauce:

  • two thick slices of bread, without crusts
  • one cup whole milk
  • eight ounces of shelled walnuts
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • four tablespoons of olive oil
  • one-half cup freshly grated parmesan, plus some more at the table
  • one-half cup heavy cream
  • one tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
  • two tablespoons freshly chopped parsley for topping

for the pasta:

Put the bread into a bowl with the milk and let soak, about five minutes. Then remove the bread and squeeze it lightly.

Place half the walnuts and garlic in a blender or food processor give them a quick chop, not too fine. Add the bread and run the processor again for a few seconds. Add the parmesan and run again. Add a half teaspoon salt and grindings of the pepper mill and the cream, and run it again for a few seconds. Taste for salt and pepper.

Chop the other half of the walnuts into medium/fine. Then add them to the sauce.

Get five quarts of water up to a raging boil.  Add two tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Reserve two tablespoons of the water. Then drain well.

Add the tagliatelle to the sauce. Add the two tablespoons of reserved water and a tablespoon of butter. Stir thoroughly. Serve with parsley garnish and more parmesan on the side.

 


 

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