This is such a practical dish. You can prepare it all in advance and then dish it out for lunch or a quick 20 minute weekday meal. There is little that is more comforting than a steamy hot plate of pasta full of fresh fragrant greens and bursting with flavour.
- 1⁄4 cup pecan pieces
- 2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, quartered
- 1 pound fresh or 12 ounces dried pasta, cooked and drained
- Toast the pecans in a dry skillet set over medium-low heat until lightly browned and aromatic, about 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Pour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade
and cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the basil, olive oil, water, pepper, salt, cheese, and garlic to the food processor.
- Close the lid and pulse a few times to break up the chunks.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and process until fairly smooth. Alternatively, grind the toasted pecans, basil, pepper, salt, and garlic in a mortar with a pestle.
- Once it is finely ground, about like cornmeal, grind in the olive oil and water in small splashes, then stir in the cheese.
- Pour the pesto over the warm pasta.