Summer Pastas are a really joy to eat. They are lighter than their Winter counterparts and given the gorgeous produce available at this time of year any number of ingredients can be pulled into the mix.
This dish is a riff on a pasta dish which is well known in Italy. It relies on very traditional flavors mixed in with the richness of nuts, cheese and oil. Walnut pesto is a rich different sauce compared to regular pesto which is made with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic and olive oil.
My walnut pesto includes California black walnuts instead of pine nuts and oven roasted grape tomatoes in addition to a smaller amount of basil, Parmesan and olive oil.
The pasta is tossed right into the sauce along with oven roasted grape tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. and served up hot and fresh. It's actually kind of a decadent taste treat with a creamy depth of flavor yet including no dairy at all. I crave this pasta now that I've made it. It's that good.
So if you like pesto and walnuts give this a try. You won't be sorry.
Buccatini With Walnut Tomato Pesto, Blistered Tomatoes and Fresh Basil
1 package Buccatini pasta
2 pints summer fresh grape tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh basil
1 cup of oven roasted walnuts
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
20 picked basil leaves
3 cloves minced garlic
Italian Herb salt
Good quality Olive Oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
More basil leaves picked for the dish
Parmesan for garnish
Place tomatoes on a baking tray toss with olive oil and Italian herb salt and roast for 30 mins in a 350 degree oven,
Place cheese, 1/2 of the tomatoes, walnuts, 20 basil leaves, two big shakes of worcestershire, garlic, and lemon juice in a small food processor and process adding oil slowly about 1/2 cup till a thick paste forms, add water a bit at a time till the sauce is loose and spoonable. Taste and add salt till it's almost too salted. On the pasta it won't taste so salty.
Cook pasta 7 mins till just al dente reserve a cup of pasta water
Toss with the sauce in a large bowl adding enough pasta water to make sure the sauce coats the pasta and is creamy.
Divide between 6 bowls and top with the remaining tomatoes and some basil leaves
Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately