Trofie with Basil and Walnut Pesto

 This basil and walnut pesto makes for a nice change from the more common walnut-free version. It is quick to make, and is a delightful green colour. Serve with either dried pasta, or make a batch fresh pasta such as trofie – which does not require a machine to make!

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: Around 10 minutes


+ 25 g raw walnuts, roughly chopped and a handful more to serve
+ 1 clove garlic, peeled
+ pinch of sea salt
+ handful of basil leaves
+ handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
+ 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
+ 75 g freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, plus a little extra to serve
+ 90 ml extra virgin olive oil
+ 75 ml pure cream (optional)
+ whatever pasta you wish to serve it with, in my case I used homemade trofie!


If using a mortar and pestle, place the walnuts in the the mortar and start pounding. After a minute or so, add the garlic, salt, basil, parsley and marjoram. Pound everything really well., add the cheese a little at a time. When you have a smooth paste, add the olive oil and mix well to amalgamate ingredients.

If making in a blender, pulse all ingredients except the cream together on the lowest speed until the sauce is creamy.

To make your sauce a little richer, and smoother you can elect to add a touch of cream. In a large saucepan, reduce the cream by a third before adding the pesto. Stir until warmed through. 

To serve, in a large bowl add your pesto to your cooked pasta with a couple of tablespoons of cooking water. Sprinkle some grated cheese and a handful of chopped walnuts, and mix thoroughly but gently. Serve immediately. 

Original recipe from The Art of Pasta.

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