I asked you all what type of dishes you’d like to see, and this was at the top of the list. So here it is. A dish we all know and love. Easy to whip up and something we can all always agree on, Pesto is an easy go-to, it is also the perfect pasta for spring. It has a brightness with all the fresh herbs but still has that richness with the nuts and cheese. Once you understand the basic structure of the recipe it’s so fun to play around with different nuts, herbs, dark leafy greens…
- 3 cups basil, washed and dried
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 lemon zested and half the lemon juiced, plus lemon zest to garnish
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan chunks, plus more for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 500 grams pasta – I used Radiatore rummo
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups pasta water
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and season heavily with kosher salt.
- In a food processor, place the cleaned basil, parmesan, crushed garlic, lemon zest, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Blend until desired consistency. I like to blend it until the walnuts are super fine. Check for seasoning and set aside. The longer this sits out, the darker it will get. Either blanch your basil first or use the pesto immediately after making.
- Place the pasta in the water and cook until al-dente. Remove 1 ½ cups of pasta water and set aside. Strain the pasta out and place back into the pot it was boiled in. Add in all the pesto and 1 cup of the pasta water. Using a wooden spoon, mix well. The water will emulsify with the pesto and become creamy and will coat the noodles beautifully. If you like it saucier, add in the rest of the water and keep mixing.
- Finish with the juice of half a lemon for a bit of brightness. Place and finish with more grated parm and freshly grated lemon zest. Enjoy with a crisp glass of white wine.