By Andrew Zimmern
This is a new updated lighter recipe without cream or butter. The pesto can be used for many applications.
- 6-8 slices of country bread, cut in ½-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Season with salt, pepper, citrus zest, chopped herbs and/or grated fresh garlic
- 1/4 pound of spinach, blanched and squeezed dry gently
- 1 garlic clove. sliced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup pecorino Romano cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, passed on a Microplane
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen) or fava beans
- 3-4 cups thinly sliced mixed spring vegetables: asparagus, fennel, carrots, leeks, turnips, zucchini, spring onions, radishes, sugar snap peas
- Zest of 1 lemon, use a fine grater or Microplane
- 1 cup freshly grated Reggiano parmesan
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh chives, parsley, and tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot chiles of your choosing
- 2 cups pea shoots or watercress sprigs
Make the breadcrumbs
Pulse the bread in a food processor to a medium crumb. Toss in a bowl with the seasoning of your choice and slowly drizzle in the oil. In a large saute pan over medium heat, toast the bread, tossing until its browned, place in a bowl to cool.
Make the pesto
Puree in a blender, slowly. If you need to, loosen with a tablespoon or two of warm water.
Make the pasta
Cook the fettuccine until very al dente, in rapidly boiling salted water. Drain and save a cup of the pasta water. Toss noodles in a few tablespoons of olive oil if you are concerned about them sticking.
Place the 3 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch pan, ideally with straight sides, over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir. Add the peas and/or fava beans, cook briefly and add the cup of reserved pasta water. Simmer until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced vegetables, the lemon zest and the pasta. Toss gently. Add the pesto, cheese, herbs and chiles. Toss and season with salt and pepper. If necessary, adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved last 1/2 cup of pasta water. Serve immediately garnishing with the fresh crispy breadcrumbs.