make this now: fresh fettucini with walnut pesto

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Call me crazy, but I’m currently geeking out over my latest rental — the Canon 5D Mark II camera. After spending twenty minutes getting used to the litany of buttons, and another ten adjusting my settings, I was determined to shoot something before evening fell.

People often ask me why I write about food on this small postage stamp of online real estate. Why I fixate on taking hundreds of photos over the course of a weekend before the frenzy of the work-week begins? Why I take such care in selecting the right images, obsess over finding the most scrumptious recipes and commit to only posting when it matters?

I do this because I’m passionate about food — its preparation, its presentation and its taste — and I want you to experience, in a pure, visceral way, the level of my devotion. My desire is to visually inspire you with the wonderful things I savor and make, and my hope is that you’ll fall unabashedly in love with food.

But back to the pasta! So simple, so seemingly decadent — this walnut pesto is peppery, nutty, savory and undeniably perfect when married with a fresh noodle. My dinner took 15 minutes to make and possibly 30 to photograph, but I hope you are inspired by these snaps to kick up your heels and dive into a bowl of food.

INGREDIENTS 2-3 servings
3/4 lb fresh fettucini
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup whole walnuts
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves young (wild) garlic
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup hot pasta water

DIRECTIONS
Bring a medium-sized pot to a bowl. Add in the fresh fettucini and stir so the pasta doesn’t clump together. You’ll want to work fast since fresh pasta only takes a few minutes (3-4) to cook.

In a food processor, blitz the basil leaves and garlic until they are a rough chop. Add in the nuts and blitz. Add in the olive oil and cheese and blitz until you reach the consistency of a smooth paste. Add in the salt and pepper.

In a large serving bowl, pour in the mixture. Drain the pasta save for a 1/4 cup of liquid, and toss the pasta, pesto and water until all of the noodles are lightly dressed. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese and fresh basil leaves and serve delicious and hot!

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