Chopped Chive "Pesto" For Pasta

Serves 8
Recipe By: Lynn Rosetta Kasper
Published in: Splendid Table

6 quart salted boiling water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large garlic cloves
1 tightly-packed cup of coarsely chopped chives
3 tightly-packed tablespoons fresh basil
1 tightly-packed tablespoon fresh spearmint
1/2 med red onion
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons -- plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lbs perciatelli or other robust string pasta
1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) freshly grated medium-aged sheep cheese --
Pecorino dellUmbria, Pecorino Toscano, American artisan-made sheep
cheese, or domestic Stella Fontinella, or young Cacio di Roma

Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile pile the salt on a chopping board. Crush
garlic into it with the side of a large knife. Chop fine. Chop in the
herbs and half the onion until minced very fine. Then coarsely chop in
pine nuts. Blend with 2 tablespoons oil right on the board, seasoning to
taste. Fine chop remaining onion. In a large skillet, heat the 2
teaspoons oil, adding the onion and saute to soften it. Cook pasta at a
fierce boil, stirring often, to tender but still firm to the bite. Drain
pasta. Scrape up the chopped mixture from the cutting board into the
saute pan. Warm for only a few seconds over medium heat to let flavors
blossom -- do not cook. Add pasta off the heat, tossing with the pesto
and the cheese. Taste again for seasoning and serve hot.
Recipe Notes

Serves 8 as a first course; 4 to 6 as a main dish.

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