- 1/4 cup walnuts – chop fine
- 1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts) (or just do 1/2 cup of pine nuts and no walnuts, personally, I love these lightly toasted brown for nuttier flavor, watch them as they toast fast in oven, or broiler).
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves) (less, if you like less garlic) .
- 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (see below for cleaning tips)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or Himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups good olive oil-extra virgin (Spanish, Italy or Greek).
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (may use a Asiago, Parmesan, Romano mix).
1. Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Or blender. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl and continue until the pesto is pureed. Then, add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.
• Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer** with a thin film of olive oil on top.
2. Boil the pasta according to the package. ... When the pasta is done, then drain the water, then , place back into the pan. Add a little more olive oil, and mix in the pesto so it blends well . Pasta choices( fusilli, spiral, or ravioli shown here already stuffed with ricotta and walnuts, courtesy Trader Joe's ) .
3. Place pasta on plates and top off with the fresh (cold) tomatoes from Farmers Market (sliced, cubed, chopped –doesn’t not matter). * I personally chop, but add 3 sprigs of basil and 2 slices tomato for presentation, served a glass of chilled Westport Rose’ or Honey wine at Market. (see vendor list) . Stellar!
Note: you can add grilled shrimp, grilled scallops from Jordans Seafood vendor for added protein. Or, grilled chicken. When dish is completed.
Freeze: For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.
To clean basil:: Remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.
Recipe made by former chef and registered dietitian Joanne Keaveney
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