Pecans add a nutty sweetness to this pesto that you cannot get with pine nuts. This makes enough to sauce about 1 pound of your favorite pasta. When tossing pesto with pasta, reserve a little pasta cooking water to thin the sauce to your liking.
- Yield: 1 generous cup
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 finely grated lemon zest
- 1½ cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1½ cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Kosher salt
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Scatter the pecans on a rimmed sheet pan and toast until they are fragrant and a shade or two darker, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool.
- Put the pecans in a food processor with the lemon zest, basil, parsley, and garlic and pulse six or seven times to make a chunky paste. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and, with the processor running, add the oil in a steady stream to make an almost smooth pesto.
- Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in the cheese. Season with salt.