Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pistachio Pesto

From Rachael Ray: 365 No Repeats

Coarse salt
1 pound linguine or fettuccine
1 C shelled pistachios
about 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 medium zucchini, julienne cut
coarse black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 C fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 C fresh mint leaves
1/4-1/3 C grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus some to pass at the table

Heat a pot of water to a boil for pasta. When it boils, salt the water and add the pasta, cooking al dente, with a bite to it.

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the pistachios and toast 5 minutes to develop their flavor. Remove the nuts from the pan and cool. Raise the heat a bit and return the pan to the stove. Add 2 tablespoons of the EVOO, then the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook for 3 minutes more.

While the zucchini cooks, grind half the nuts with the parsley, mint, and cheese in a food processor. Stream in about 1/3 cup of the EVOO and process until a paste forms, then season with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta. Add the pistachio pesto the the zucchini. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat evenly, then toss the remaining whole toasted nuts. Adjust the seasonings and grated cheese and transfer to a serving platter or plates. Pass more cheese at the table.

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