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Penne with Parsley and Walnut Pesto*

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it)
2 cloves cracked garlic
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
1/2 cup walnut pieces or 2/3 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 pound penne rigate (with lines) pasta
1/3 pound fresh green beans, cut into thirds


In a small saucepan over medium heat cook garlic in oil, 5 minutes, then remove pan from heat. Fill the food processor with parsley leaves, loosely packed. Add walnuts and 1/2 of the warm oil and both cloves of garlic to the parsley in the processor. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper, set lid in place and pulse grind the mixture into a thick paste. Add any remaining parsley and pulse to combine. Transfer to a large pasta bowl. Stir in remaining oil and cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste.

While cooking penne to package directions for al dente, watch the time. After about 6 minutes, add green beans to the pasta pot. The beans will cook along with the pasta for the last 2 or 3 minutes. Drain pasta and beans together in a colander, then transfer to the pasta bowl with the pesto. Toss for 1 to 2 minutes to combine. Serve immediately.


St. Anthony Heart cooking demo, Rachel Ray