3 nut basil Pesto Bucatini with clams
This is a different take on pesto. I wanted to enhance the roasted nuts and garlic flavors over the basil. The three nuts I used are walnuts, pine nuts, and hazelnuts. I started by roasting each nut separately at 300 degrees in the oven until they became aromatic and golden brown. Then I roughly chopped them in a food processor with two cloves of garlic, freshly grated parm, a handful of basil, and some olive oil. Each bite is so nutty and garlicky (hopefully you're not trying to impress anyone on a date). The best thing about making pesto is that it is so simple and fast. I like to make mine into a paste that can be tossed over pasta or used as a spread on a baguette. Here, I tossed the paste with some butter, white wine, bucatini, and added steamed manilla clams. This is a simple recipe that's sure to impress on any occasion.
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
7 ounces of spaghetti
2 cloves garlic
1 basil sprig
4 tbsp butter, split
1/8 cup of light flavored EVOO
1/8 cup walnuts and hazelnuts
2 tbsp pine nuts
10 Manilla clams
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh cracked pepper
In a food processor combine the walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, and basil. Blend together until all ingredients form a paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a pot with six quarts of water to boil. Add your spaghetti and cook until halfway done (the noodles should still have a decent bite to them).
In a separate pot, melt two tbsp butter. Fry the marjoram and garlic, then add the red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.
Add the Manilla clams to the pot with your fried herbs and steam with white wine.*
Once clams are cooked, add your half-cooked spaghetti to the pot along with 1/4 cup of your pasta water.
Let your spaghetti simmer and reduce. Gently agitate pasta as it cooks.
While the pasta water is reducing and a sauce is starting to form, add kosher salt to taste and some fresh marjoram.
Finish with the pesto and remaining two tbsp butter. Toss or stir the pasta until the sauce is thick and butter is incorporated.
Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and freshly grated Parmesan.
*If clams do not open when cooked, they have gone bad and are unsafe to eat. This usually happens if not kept at the right temperature.