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Serves 4 – 8
Pesto: In a 375 degree F oven, lightly toast nuts in a pan until golden, shaking every 2 minutes (5-7 minutes total). Let nuts cool completely, then roughly chop.
In a blender or food processor, briefly blend nuts, herbs, oil, garlic, and salt until slightly coarse. Empty the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly whisk in the tomato paste, parmesan, and pepper, and if it seems too thick, a little more olive oil. Keep at room temperature.
Pasta: Bring water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add and dissolve 1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt. Add pasta and cook to al dente (test its firmness by biting a noodle before the box’s recommended cooking duration).
Assembly: Drain the pasta in a colander but not thoroughly. The pasta should be slick with its own cooking water. Immediately dump it into the mixing bowl of pesto and stir to coat with tongs.
Serve in heated bowls and garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley.
Make Ahead/Storage: Store pesto with a thin layer of olive oil on top in an airtight container, and refrigerate. Bring pesto to room temperature before using.
Leftovers: Eat coated pasta at room temperature. If reheating, know that the pesto will lose flavor.