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between a roux and a bechamel

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Macadamia Nut Pesto with Steamed Clams

This weekend's adventure in cooking came with some idle food network viewing on Sunday morning. Rachel Ray was making pesto, and it got me thinking, hey, I've got some overgrown basil plants that need plucking. Let's do this! But how to put an interesting spin on it?

So instead of pine nuts, I used macadamias. They gave it a rich, buttery, sweet tone. I also threw threw a little bit of mint in with the parsley and basil. And of course, some crushed red pepper because everything's better with a little bit of heat on it. I served it with whole wheat spaghetti and fresh steamed clams, and some sliced tomatoes on the side. Here are photos, and here's the recipe:

Macadamia Nut Pesto
1. Toast some macadamia nuts lightly in a sautee pan.

2. Roughly chop some fresh flat leaf parsley (about a cup), fresh basil (about a cup and a half), and a few sprigs of mint.

3. Put the nuts and herbs in a food processor along with about a half cup of parmesean, a few glugs of chicken stock, 1-3 cloves garlic, salt, pepper, and a few shakes of crushed red pepper. As you begin to process them together, pour in a bit of olive oil.

4. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated.



To get the sauce spread about the noodles, I put them together in a sautee pan on low heat, with a little bit of olive oil, and a little bit of the water the pasta had cooked in. I moved it all around until the sauce was evenly distributed over the noodles, then threw in about 8-10 clams per person.

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