Smoked Almond Pesto Spaghetti
Smoked almonds lend their signature salty, smoky flavor to this unique weeknight pesto pasta. The sauce is reinforced with smoked paprika for extra depth and brightened with a generous amount of fresh, herbaceous parsley. Peas are added to the pasta during the last couple minutes of cooking; broccoli florets would also work nicely. The versatile sauce can be doubled and stored in the fridge for about 5 days. It’s great on roasted chicken, fried eggs or even potato salad.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
- 1pound spaghetti
- 1 ½cups fresh or frozen peas
- ¾cup/4 ounces smoked almonds
- 2garlic cloves
- 1 ½packed cups/1½ ounces fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1packed cup/1 ounce flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ½cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
- 1teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾cup neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
- 2tablespoons lemon juice
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente, adding fresh peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking or frozen peas during the last minute. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta and peas.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine almonds and garlic, and pulse until finely chopped. Add basil, parsley, cheese and paprika. With the machine running, drizzle in oil until well blended and a thick sauce forms. Transfer pesto to a large bowl, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3Add cooked pasta and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to the bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat pasta in the pesto, then season again as needed. (Add more pasta water if a thinner consistency is desired.)
Step 4Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with additional cheese and basil.