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Becky Luigart-Stayner Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Rigatoni with Green Olive-Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese

This made-in-the-processor pasta sauce combines olives and almonds for a twist on traditional pesto. It's also nice as a base on pizza. Green Spanish manzanilla olives are packed in brine.

Cooking Light MAY 2006

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups)


  • 1 pound uncooked rigatoni
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) pitted manzanilla (or green) olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid.

Place olives, sliced almonds, flat-leaf parsley leaves, black pepper, and garlic in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until coarsely chopped. With processor on, add 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vinegar through the food chute, processing until mixture is finely chopped. Combine pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, and olive mixture in a large bowl; toss well. Add enough of remaining 2 tablespoons cooking liquid to make pasta mixture moist, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 424
  • Calories from fat: 29%
  • Fat: 13.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 7.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.4g
  • Protein: 15.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 61.6g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 8mg
  • Iron: 3.2mg
  • Sodium: 510mg
  • Calcium: 136mg

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Rigatoni with Green Olive-Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese Recipe