Who says a pesto has to be green? This version of pesto celebrates the walnut in all its glory with a simple combination of ricotta, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil. It's rich but subtle, and the muted creamy tones are gorgeous. Trust me, you won't miss the basil.
– 2 cups of walnut halves, toasted
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 1/2 cups of fresh ricotta, divided
– 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano (and extra for passing at the table)
– Kosher or sea salt
– freshly ground black pepper
– 1 lb of fettuccine
In a food processor or large mortar and pestle, grind the walnuts and garlic until the walnuts are a chunky paste. Place into a large bowl and add 1 cup of ricotta, the grated Parmigiano and olive oil. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper and work into a paste.
Boil the pasta in salted water and when it's finished, using tongs, transfer the pasta into the bowl along with some of the water and start to work the pasta into the pesto. Add more pasta water if it is slightly thick. The pesto should be loose enough to lightly coat the pasta. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
I liked the texture of fresh ricotta added at the end, so use the rest of the remaining 1/2 cup of ricotta to top each plate of pasta. Garnish with more cheese and enjoy!