Pasta with hand chopped scallion & black walnut pesto recipe

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  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • Salt
  • ½ cup [60 g] shelled black walnuts, plus more (optional), chopped, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup [40 g] pine nuts, plus more (optional), chopped, for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 cups [60 g] packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 scallions (green parts only)
  • 1 cup [30 g] grated Parmesan cheese, plus more (optional) for garnish
  • ½ cup [120 ml] extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lb [455 g] pasta (any shape)
How to Make It
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Set a small skillet over medium heat and add the walnuts and pine nuts. Toast, stirring occasionally, until you can smell them, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. On a large cutting board, chop the garlic along with about one-third of the basil leaves and 1 scallion. When these are roughly chopped, add another third of the basil and another scallion, and continue chopping. Add the rest of the basil and the remaining scallion, continuing until the mixture is finely chopped. Add half of the walnuts, pine nuts, and cheese, chop coarsely, and then add the remaining walnuts, pine nuts, and cheese, and chop until fine.
  4. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and stir in the olive oil to moisten. Season with ½ tsp salt and serve right away or refrigerate until needed, for up to 5 days. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, reserving 1 cup [240 ml] of the cooking water. Remove from the heat, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Toss the hot pasta with the pesto, using as much or as little as you like. Add the reserved cooking water, a little at a time, to moisten the mixture, if needed. Serve the pasta family style or in individual portions, garnished with extra cheese, walnuts, pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, and anything else that strikes your fancy.

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