Monday, February 14, 2011

Walnut-Sage Pesto Pasta

Happy Valentine's Day!  To all of you in a relationship, go nuts!  Do something special for each other and share something uniquely the two of you!  To all of you who are rocking independence - don't sweat it!  It's just a Hallmark Holiday, that shouldn't make you feel any less awesome than any other day.

I've ripped this recipe out of a magazine at the gym probably four weeks ago.  I'm not sure why I haven't made it yet, I've had all the ingredients.  I finally got around to making this last night and it was extremely tasty.  And easy - I think 20 minutes top to put it all together.

Walnut-Sage Pesto Pasta

  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 6 ounces dried pasta of your choosing
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 packed Tbsp fresh whole sage leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat up your oven to 350.  Pour out your walnuts onto a baking sheet and bake for roughly 8 minutes.  Toast until light golden brown and fragrant.  Set aside to cool.
Before toasting
After toasting
While the walnuts are toasting, get a salted pot of hot water going on the stove.  Cook your pasta according to the instructions.  Be sure to reserve the pasta water, you're going to need some of it later.

Sage... so fresh, so fragrant!
Combine your parsley, sage leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender.

Give it a solid whiiiirrrrlllll until it's finely pulsed into a pesto like consistency.  Add in the EVOO, blend.  Add in 3 tablespoons Parmesan and give it a final pulse or two.

In a bowl, add pesto and a 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water.

Add in your pasta and mix well.

Now, you might realize that yours looks more green than mine does.  That is because I completely forgot to add in the parsley!  Ugh!  Such a crucial, crucial ingredient!  Don't get me wrong, my dish, sans parsley, was really good, but I think the lighter, fresher taste of the parsley would have changed the dish considerably.  Mine was very rich, and very heavy.  I ate it as my entrée, but it was probably better suited as a side dish. I must really remember to slow down and read a recipe in it's entirety!

Continue to add in pasta water in small batches, to create a creamier sauce.  You won't need much, but it's helpful to loosen up the noodles and builds a bit of light sauce to coat the noodles.

Serve in bowls and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Crack some fresh pepper over the top... and Bon Appetit!!!

My new Nikon took these pictures!  I love it!

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