12.13.2008

walnut and hazelnut pesto with farro spaghetti

Photobucket Everyone I know loves pesto. There are hundreds of variations, but it's winter outside, and fresh greens, especially basil, can be scarce. However, the shops are loaded with seasonal nuts, and not just holiday shoppers, but walnuts and hazelnuts. Don't worry, making pesto is far easier than last-minute shopping for that long lost auntie. Loading up on walnuts in the winter is wonderful for moisturizing our skin from the inside out. Walnuts are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which also can help to boost our spirits with the shorter, darker days we're experiencing. Hazelnuts have their own healthful contributions of oleic acid, fibre, calcium, and iron too. Just in case, there aren't enough super fatty-acids, I added a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, just to top it off. Making pesto doesn't have to be anything other than a fast and easy meal. Sure, it can be made with a mortar and pestle, and that can be lovely. But don't let the guilt of not being completely authentic, according to ancient principles, scare you away. We have food processors for good reason, so make the most of it. Do go ahead and be creative too. Add more garlic, more parsley, or don't add it at all. If you don't eat dairy, then leave out the parmigiano. The pesto police will not come after you, except that they might want more pesto. Photobucket Farro is an ancient grain of the Egyptians, but now you can find it as a whole grain, or made into beautiful pastas with healthful qualities. Try a few different brands, and you might be surprised with the flavourful addition to your cooking it can make. Walnut and Hazelnut Pesto with Farro Spaghetti (serves 4) 500g farro spaghetti 4 handfuls of whole walnuts (2 cups) 1 handful hazelnuts (1/2 cup) 2 tbsp chopped parsley 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbsp parmigiano-reggiano 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (grind in a coffee grinder) 6-8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil salt & pepper, to taste 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. 2. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, hazelnuts, parsley, garlic, parmigiano-reggiano and flaxseed with the olive oil. Be sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula. If the mixture is too thick to combine, then add more olive oil. Mix until everything is well combined and has an even texture. Have a taste, and season according to preference. 3. Strain the pasta. Add the pesto to the warm pot, and stir to evenly distribute the heat. Combine thoroughly with the pasta and serve immediately. Serve with extra grated parmigiano, if desired.

38 comments:

kang said...

i love pesto too :) never had walnut and hazelnut pesto, but im guessing the nutiness will be rather nice :)

loving the mimimalistic new design and photos are top notch as usual :D

HoneyB said...

I love pesto! I really should just make some! Usually I only eat it when out but you make it sound too easy to not try!

Jo said...

I've only tried basil with pinenut pesto and loved it. I'll have to give this a go simply because the pictures look so delish!

VeggieGirl said...

Diviiiiiine pesto variety!!

ttfn300 said...

oooh, loving this pesto :)

Olga said...

This looks great! I like how you used two types of nuts instead of just one.

And the reference to shoppers being nuts: brilliant!

Jessie said...

Oh wow, this looks a-ma-zing! I can't wait to try it. :D

+Jessie
a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

gkbloodsugar said...

I don't mind missing Basil for a while.
This sounds incredible.

Can't go far wrong with Hazelnuts.

Heidi / Savory Tv said...

Hazelnuts! How creative, and it sounds wonderful, I love the inclusion of flax!

Anonymous said...

Farro (including farro pasta) is made from a strain of wheat called emmer. It is not gluten free.

gail said...

Thanks anonymous, making corrections now. Thanks!

Dee said...

Do think I'll have to export some farro pasta on my next trip home. This looks delicious!

Court said...

Looks like a nice twist on traditional pesto. I think I had something like this with brie on pasta when I was in Italy. I will have to whip some up and see if it tastes the same. Thanks!

Larisa said...

Looks delicious! Very nice twist on pesto - I'm anxious to try it.

haleysuzanne said...

Oh, this looks absolutely delicious. I love pesto, and I adore walnuts and hazelnuts. Looks like a natural fit. Yum!

Foong said...

This looks GOOD and healthy too! Yes, I'm also a pesto-lover. Should try this out one of these days...the food critic at home would love this since he's a pasta fan.

Holly said...

Oh dear lord that looks good. We were in the Pacific Northwest a few months ago when some kind folks at the farmers market foisted some fresh hazelnuts onto us. Amazing. Thank you for posting this!
Holly from Sustainable Suppers

Laurie said...

This is by far one of my favorite combinations.. it sounds and looks divine!

Jen said...

This looks fabulous and a perfect hearty winter meal that can also utilize the ingredients we have readily available in the snowy north!

Romeo said...

Sounds Delicious!!

Maya said...

I have some pesto that I made last summer..

Linda said...

What a fantastic idea--I think I could actually disguise a good-for-you dinner with this recipe and present it to finicky hubby!

Farmer Jo said...

That looks wonderful. I am going to add it to our "must try" dinner list. I love hazelnuts!

Anonymous said...

This looks great,but nothing can replace the wonderfuul taste off basil

Butterball said...

Brilliant! Sounds too simple to look so good!

Meredith (Pursuing Balance) said...

This looks great! I love pesto!

Sophie said...

I love all the ingredients apart, so I will surely love them together! Thanks!

Sam said...

That is a W-O-W recipe. I love it I love it I love it.

Max mickle said...

What a great combination of colors and flavors. The sauce sounds fantastic too.walnut & hazelnut pesto does look wonderful for kids of all ages.

cheri said...

This looks great. I am always looking for new pesto recipes. I'll have to give this a try!

curiousdomestic said...

Refreshing change from regular pesto. I love the taste of nuts with pasta, though I've never tried farro pasta. If I can find some, I'll give it a go.

Juls said...

Great pesto! once I tryed it ewith just walnout, but the idea to combine it with the farro spaghetti is great!

Claudia said...

This longs wonderful and great for summer. I have never done ith with the hazelnuts. Definitely will do this.

Yujai said...

Hmmmm....Walnut and Hazelnut Pesto must be good!!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I am also a pesto nut. This looks wonderful and very original!

sue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gundex90 said...

i feel it's great

cajunlicious said...

This looks great! Love your blog! Came it blog on foodbuzz & am a new follower!
- Jessica @ http://cajunlicious.com

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