Essentially a pesto made with walnuts instead of pine nuts, this hearty sauce is a specialty in the Tuscan countryside. Thickening the sauce with milk-soaked bread cuts down on both olive oil and cheese. The sauce will darken quickly, so process the pesto just before serving.
2 (1/2-ounce) slices white bread
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 pound uncooked penne rigate pasta
Chopped parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Trim crusts from bread. Place bread in a shallow dish; pour milk over bread. Let stand 5 minutes. Place bread mixture in a food processor; add basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through garlic). Set aside without processing.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add reserved cooking liquid to basil mixture in food processor, and process until smooth. Add the pesto to pasta; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
I agree with the previous reviewer that this turns ugly quickly, however the pesto is really good. I keep it separate from the pasta and mix as I need, to last a couple of days. I have made if for company when I served immediately and got great reviews.
This one didn't work for us. Followed the recipe to a T, and used jar pesto. Did use wheat pasta, maybe that was it? But we love pesto, and did not love this. Also, it turns dark QUICKLY. Serve it up and eat it in one sitting, I wouldn't plan on saving any for reheats the next day. The dark brown color is extrememly unappetizing.
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!