Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6: Pecan and Arugula Pesto

   Coarse salt
1 pound linguine or fettuccine
1 cup pecan pieces
   About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound haricots verts (or skinny green beans, halved)
1/2 cup shredded carrots or 1 carrot cut into matchsticks
   Coarse black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups arugula
1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at the table
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
4 scallions, cut into thirds, then thinly sliced lengthwise
   Tomato and onion salad or mixed greens

Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. When it boils, salt the water and add the pasta, cooking al dente (with a bite to it).

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast for 5 minutes to develop their flavor.

Remove the nuts from the pan and cool. Add an inch of water to the pan and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook the beans and carrots for 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain the vegetables, then return the pan to the stove. Add 2 tablespoons of the EVOO and the beans and carrots, and saute for a couple of minutes. Season the beans and carrots with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook for 3 minutes more.

While the veggies cook, grind half the nuts with the arugula and cheese in a food processor. Stream in about 1/3 cup of the EVOO and process until a paste forms, then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Drain the pasta. Add the pecan pesto and scallions to the veggies. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat evenly, then toss in the remaining whole toasted nuts.

Adjust the seasonings and grated cheese and transfer to a serving platter or plates. Pass more cheese at the table.


This meal may not look that great, or sound that great for that matter, but it was really good! It is the variation on the Pistachio Pesto. I really liked this one and so did my family. The vegetables were perfectly cooked, and the pecans were perfectly toasted. I didn't let them burn this time. Go me. The only thing I might have changed would be to chop the scallions instead of slicing them lengthwise. It is so hard to do and then they end up tough and hard to chew. I had forgotten about the salad, but my husband rescued me when he brought some fresh tomatoes home from work. They were so good! I didn't serve bread with the meal because I'm counting my carbs.

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