Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
From Michael Chiarello and NapaStyle comes this unusual and tasty pesto!
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 12 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups ricotta cheese (home made or store bought whole-milk ricotta cheese)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon, zest of
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- sea salt, preferably gray salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Ready a baking sheet and spread the walnuts on in a single layer, then place in the oven and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool, then chop coarsely.
- In a small skillet over medium high temperature, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden.
- Transfer the garlic into a food processor or mortar and add the basil leaves and toasted walnuts, then process or grind until minced well.
- Add the ricotta, the remaining oil (3 tablespoons), and lemon zest and process until well blended.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl, stir in the pecorino cheese, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Serve over 1 1/2 pounds cooked pasta or use as a dip.
Pleasant texture and subtle flavour. If I make this again, I think I'd halve the amount of both the ricotta and the olive oil in order to give the other flavours more prominence and make it less creamy and more like a traditional pesto. once its added to the pasta it tends to be a little too bland, as is.