CLASSIC pasta walnut pesto
         

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This is a Ligurian alternate to basil pesto. Also terrific. And also a classic. This is a basic, simple version. For a slightly more complex version see tagliatelle with walnut pesto.

for the pesto:

  • two cups fresh basil leaves
  • one and one-half cups walnut halves (about six ounces)
  • two garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • one quarter cup parsley, chopped fine
  • one half cup extra virgin olive oil

In a preheated oven of 350 degrees, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Cool, and then finely chop.

Using a blender (pesto was traditionally made in a mortar with pestle, but a blender works excellently), put in the walnuts and garlic and mix for a few seconds. Then add the olive oil and salt, the red pepper flakes and parsley and salt and blend at a high speed until the sauce approaches being creamy (not too much, however, as a little roughness in the texture is wonderful).

When the blending is completed, transfer the sauce into a mixing bowl and stir in the parmesan and add a twist or so of freshly ground pepper, and blend well. 

It is now ready for combining with your favorite pasta, such as trofie or linguine or whatever.

 


 

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