4 as an appetizer or child's portion
The pasta should be rolled out to a thickness of about one-sixteenth of an inch. Keep the extra pesto in the refrigerator, covered with a thin layer of olive oil. Leftover pesto will keep up to two days. Serve the pasta with halved cherry tomatoes and a dollop of fresh ricotta, if desired.
1 1/2 cups raw pine nuts, divided
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large bunches basil (about 8 ounces), washed, dried and large stems removed
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup olive oil
, freshly rolled and cut
1. Bring a large pot
of salted water to a boil. In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and reserve.
2. Using a mortar and pestle,
pound the garlic cloves and salt until very well combined. Working a little at a time (depending on how big your mortar is), add 1 cup of the pine nuts, basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano and mash the mixture until it's a paste. Remove the mixture to a small bowl. (The basil mixture can also be made in a food processor.)
3. Gently stir the olive oil
into the basil mixture to form a pesto. This makes about 1 1/4 cups pesto, more than is needed for this recipe.
4. Working in batches,
place the pasta in the boiling water and cook just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and lightly coat the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil so that the noodles do not stick together.
5. Divide the warm pasta
among bowls or plates. Ladle about one-eighth cup of pesto over each serving and sprinkle with the reserved pine nuts. Serve immediately.