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Trenette con Pesto alla Nocciola (Pasta with Hazelnut Pesto)

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.


  • 1/2 cup (2-1/2 oz.) toasted hazelnuts; more for garnish
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4-1/2 cups (4 oz.) lightly packed fresh basil leaves; more small leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup (about 4-3/4 oz.) grated Locatelli cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for garnish
  • 1-1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb. dried trenette or fettuccine

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 570
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 330
  • Fat (g): 37
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 25
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 430
  • Carbohydrates (g): 46
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 13


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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