Minty Broccolini and Almond Pesto

SERVES: 4

Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 1 Hour

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Produce

    • 1 bunch (10 ounces) broccolini

 

    • 2 very large bunches mint (2-4ounces)

 

    • 2 garlic cloves

 

Pantry

  • ½ cup almonds, divided
  • 4 oil-packed anchovies
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more
  • kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 12 ounces of any kind of short tubular pasta

Dairy

  • 3 ounces pecorino romano cheese

1. Toast the nuts:

 

    • Preheat the oven to 350. Toss ½ cup almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Roast until golden brown all the way through, 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

 

 

2. Make the broccolini almond pesto:

 

    • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 bunch (10 ounces) broccolini and cook 2-3 minutes. While it boils, fill a large bowl with ice water. After two minutes, the broccolini should be tender but not mushy (if it's super crunchy give it another few seconds). Transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Keep this water going for the pasta if you're cooking the pesto pasta right away.

 

    • Once cool, drain and then pat the broccolini dry. Chop the broccolini (stems and all) into 1" pieces.

 

    • Pick the leaves of as much mint as you need to very tightly pack 2 cup measures. It's a lot of mint!

 

    • In the base of a food processor, combine 2 garlic cloves, 4 oil-packed anchovies, and ¼ cup roasted almonds and pulse to finely chop.

 

    • Add ¾ cup chopped broccolini (reserving the rest for tossing with the pasta later on), the picked mint, ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar and process until pesto-like in consistency. If it looks too thick, add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil and pulse again.

 

    • Finely grate 1 ounce pecorino on a microplane (about ½ cup grated) and add to the pesto, pulse again; season with salt. If using it right away, great! If not, transfer to an airtight container and cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to keep it from oxidizing.

 

 

3. Cook pasta and finish:

 

    • Return the water to a boil (or boil fresh water with salt if you are starting at a later time).

 

    • Add 12 ounces of the pasta of your choice, give a stir, and cook until al dente.

 

    • While the pasta cooks, coarsely chop or crush the remaining ¼ cup roasted almonds, and chop or crumble 2 ounces pecorino cheese into little nuggety ½"-ish pieces.

 

    • Add about ⅔ of the pesto, and all the remaining chopped broccolini to a large heatproof bowl (big enough to fit on top of the pot of water without falling in) - you'll set the bowl over the pot to warm the pesto. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the cooked pasta to the bowl of pesto. Turn off the heat of the pot but set the bowl over the pot (the residual heat from the hot water will warm the pesto). Stir and toss the pesto and the pasta, adding a splash/ladle or two of hot pasta water from beneath to loosen the sauce, as needed, until really nice and creamy and well coated. Taste and adjust seasoning - if you think it could use another splash of white wine vinegar to brighten it up, go for it!!

 

    • Toss in the rest of the chopped almonds and pecorino. Give another good toss or stir to incorporate. Divide the pasta among serving bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve with more pecorino alongside if you like it extra cheeeeeesy.

 

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