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Mains, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Pappardelle with pesto

Pappardelle with pesto
Los Angeles Times

That kids love pasta is one of those parenting truisms that begins as relief (it's easy, it's cheap), quickly graduates to fatigue, and usually culminates in parody. I still remember the Year of the Noodle, in which my daughter ate ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes | Serves 4 as an appetizer or child's portion
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pine nuts, divided
  • 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large bunches basil (about 8 ounces), washed, dried and large stems removed
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 recipe basic pappardelle pasta, freshly rolled and cut

Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a saute pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and reserve.

Step 2Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic cloves and salt until very well combined. Working a little at a time (depending on how big your mortar is), add 1 cup of the pine nuts, basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano and mash the mixture until it's a paste. Remove the mixture to a small bowl. (The basil mixture can also be made in a food processor.)

Step 3Gently stir the olive oil into the basil mixture to form a pesto. This makes about 1 1/4 cups pesto, more than is needed for this recipe.

Step 4Working in batches, place the pasta in the boiling water and cook just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and lightly coat the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil so that the noodles do not stick together.

Step 5Divide the warm pasta among bowls or plates. Ladle about one-eighth cup of pesto over each serving and sprinkle with the reserved pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Note: The pasta should be rolled out to a thickness of about one-sixteenth of an inch. Keep the extra pesto in the refrigerator, covered with a thin layer of olive oil. Leftover pesto will keep up to two days. Serve the pasta with halved cherry tomatoes and a dollop of fresh ricotta, if desired.


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