Servings: 6 to 8
The Genovese love their pesto, where it’s served in every restaurant. Simple to prepare, it’s traditionally made with basil, Parmigiano, and pine nuts. In my version, I use a Locatelli cheese and toasted hazelnuts. Make the pesto in advance to cut down on prep the day of your dinner. With all the beautiful basil available in summer, make a double batch. It can be added to hot pasta right from the fridge.
In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts and garlic, and process until finely ground. Add the basil and cheese, pulse a few times, then process for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until well blended. Transfer to an airtight container, and cover the pesto with a thin layer of oil. (The pesto can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta, and transfer to a bowl. Add the pesto in spoonfuls, and toss until the pasta is fully coated, using about 2 cups (reserve remaining pesto for another use). Garnish with hazelnuts and cheese, and serve.
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