Saturday, January 16, 2010

Walnut Pesto Pasta

I am watching Chicago and having a few glasses of wine. If this post contains poor sentence structure, mis-spellings or questionable grammar, my apologies.

How many ways can pesto be used? In my opinion, in about as many savory ways as something like Nutella can be used in sweet ways. Pesto should never just be relegated to pasta dishes and I believe it should be set free to roam among the surfs, turfs and salads of the world. So besides pasta, here are a few ideas:

1. Topping for green peas or incorporate the peas into the pesto and add that as a topping on a meat dish
2. Spread on a turkey sandwich
3. Spread on a hamburger
4. Topping on a salad instead of dressing
5. Topping a steak
6. Awesome on roast beef sandwiches

This list is obviously not exhaustive but I think you get the idea. For the picture, I put the pesto with pasta, a handful of walnuts, green peas and a diced chicken breast. Bliss!


1 cup tight-packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup tight-packed basil leaves
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Make the pesto: Place parsley, basil, walnuts, cheeses, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until well combined. Add the olive oil to parsley/basil mixture in a slow stream, pulsing to combine. Taste and season to taste.

Serve immediately on top of warm pasta and peas and sprinkle whole walnuts and parmesan on top or freeze (see Step 2).

2. Freeze the pesto: Divide pesto into preferred serving sizes and place in small resealable plastic bags or small plastic containers with airtight lids. Force excess air out of the container and freeze for up to 3 months.

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