Tuscan Penne in Walnut-Garlic Sauce
- Crush the basil, garlic, Pecorino, and walnuts into a semi-smooth paste in a mortar or in a food processor. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Beat in the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until a creamy paste forms; the sauce will not be smooth. Set aside.
- Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil; add the penne and the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook until al dente, then drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Toss the penne with the sauce and the reserved pasta cooking water in a heated bowl. Serve hot, sprinkled with the pepper.