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Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta

Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta

What does a famous chef cook when he’s relaxing at home? Something quick and easy, like this summer
delight with fragrant basil, cheese, and your choice of nuts–packed with protein and omega-3-oils–that make a pasta dish that is super-simple–and simply superb.


2 quarts salted water
4 cups basil leaves, lightly packed
4 cloves peeled garlic
1 small jalapeno, seeded
3/4 cup mixed pine nuts and walnuts or pecans
6-7 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, divided
1 pound linguini
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1. Bring salted water to a boil. Drop basil into the pot, pushing it down into the water. Cook for about 20 seconds, then lift it out with a skimmer and rinse under cold water. Place in bowl of food processor. Add garlic, jalapeno, and nuts. Process on high, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil and a few tablespoons of water to make it combine better, and process until you have a beautiful green puree.

2. When ready to cook the pasta, drop 1 pound linguini into the boiling water and while it is cooking, grate the cheese. When pasta is al dente, set a stainless-steel bowl near the pasta cooking pot and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil into the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, then scoop out 3/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid and add it to the oil in the bowl. Drain pasta in colander, shaking to remove excess water. Transfer pasta to the bowl containing the oil and pasta cooking liquid and toss. The cooking liquid will be absorbed by the pasta.

3. Add the pesto and a good handful of the cheese, and mix well. Serve immediately in hot deep plates, sprinkled with extra Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Entrees, ,

Adapted from Chez Jacques, by Jacques Pepin (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 2007). Copyright (c) 2007 by Jacques Pepin. Reprinted by permission of Stewart, Tabori, and Chang.
Adapted from Chez Jacques, by Jacques Pepin (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 2007).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Chez Jacques

Traditions and rituals of a now


+ add your own
10:26AM PST on Nov 27, 2013

Sounds good,thanks for sharing

1:04AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Recipe sounds good. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

11:55AM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

I love pesto! Thanks Annie!

2:11AM PST on Jan 20, 2010


5:45PM PST on Jan 22, 2008

This was a very tasty dish! I had to add more salt after I was served, along with red chilli sauce. I also added chopped black olives when I was mixing the pesto in with the pasta.

12:04AM PDT on Aug 11, 2007

I am living in Italy. Here we are using the basil without dropping it into the boiling water, we wash it in water . Why do you do this elaborated work? Jalapeno doesnot enter in the Basil nut Pesto.

2:47PM PDT on Aug 9, 2007

sound good basil is my fevert
no any good one with capers u can chare

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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