29 August 2011

Walnut Pesto

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Today I am debunking the myth that all pesto is green.  The word "pesto" is derived from the Italian word pestare, which means to pound, to crush.  Or even more literally, to trample.  Ergo, if you put nuts in a mortar and use a pestle to crush them as was traditionally done and still create a pesto.

This pesto is featuring walnuts in all of their glory.  They are a little less pricey then pine nuts, so often times I will replace them in dishes if I am watching the bottom line.

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As part of Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program I received a sample of Crisco Pure, Light, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  For this time around, I am featuring the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Did I ever mention how much I love olive oil?  Seriously, I use it when cooking meats, on salads, and even desserts.  And now I am going to give it a go in my pesto.

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The Shopping List:
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp parsley
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Pepper to taste
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The Method:

In a food processor (because I am too lazy to use a mortar and pestle) put in the walnuts and garlic and pulse until the nuts are ground up, but not made into powder.

In a bowl, mix in the nut mixture, sea salt, ricotta, olive oil, parsley, pepper, lemon and butter together thoroughly.  Put to the side.

In a pot cook pasta to al dente.  I used a wheat linguine to pair with my pesto.  Pull out the pasta and add it to the pesto dish and toss so strands are coated.  If feeling a little adventurous, add some feta cheese to garnish.

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I am such a fan of this dish.  It is so simple and so good.  This pesto is also fabulous to spread over bread.  

Now if this does not inspire me to throw on my running shoes and go out for a jog, I do not know what will.

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10 comments:

  1. Unique pesto! My doctor told me to eat more nuts like almonds and walnuts, so this recipe is perfect. Just the idea of a nut pesto makes me hungry-yum!

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  2. Yum! I love the idea of a walnut pesto- brilliant! And pretty too!!

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  3. What a yummy sounding pesto!

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  4. I've been having such a craving for pesto sauce lately... a walnut pesto sounds out of this world!

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  5. I too need to wrap my head around the fact that pesto does not have to be a traditional basil pesto... my neighbor has been after me to make a cashew pesto, and now I'm going to add this to my list as well. Love it!

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  6. I have a ton of walnuts and a ton of fresh grown basil and I literally just thought, "I think I'll look up a recipe for some walnut pesto." And BAM! Here was your blog post! Thanks, I will be making this tomorrow.

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  7. love it! I use to make ricotta spaghetti (just spaghetti, ricotta, water, salt and pepper) so I think I will totally love this version. nice pictures.

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  8. Your sauce sounds like a perfect match with whole wheat linguini.
    Love the pics on your window sill.
    LL

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  9. Wow! Ricotta and walnuts and butter! It sounds so unusual, but scrumptious at the same time. I have stopped using pine nuts in my pestos since I discovered how great the (cheap) almonds are. I must test your walnut version!

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  10. did this tonight an it was incredibly good. I omitted the butter and use the water I boiled the pasta in to create moisture. the touch of the lemon was simply brilliant. thank you for sharing!

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