We’re back from Yellowstone! I’m not sure why that statement necessitated an exclamation mark, because it was one of the hardest vacations to return to the real world from. Even though we spent 12 hours (!!) exploring the park each day, I wish we had another week to see more of the backcountry. It was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever visited.
If you’re still stuck in boring basil pesto land (real place), try out some of my favorite pestos:
I thought I had tried all the pesto the world had to offer. Then I saw this recipe from Mario Batalli. Fun fact – Mario Batalli gave me a quick smooch on the lips at an event in New Orleans. Don’t worry, no scandal here. It was in front of my husband who fully approved and laughed heartily. My first thought was that it was weird and probably wouldn’t work, but since Mario and I are connected, I knew I could trust him and his spicy chili pesto.
Toss with whole grain pasta and use leftovers to dress tacos, dollop over eggs or in a sandwich to add kick.
- 6 fresh jalapeno peppers, cored and seeded
- 5 fresh serrano chiles, cored and seeded
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- ½ cup blanched, sliced almonds
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 lb 100% whole grain fettuccine
- ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs or fresh whole grain breadcrumbs, toasted
- Place the jalapenos, serranos, red onion, almonds and ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil in the food processor. Process to a smooth puree then season with salt to taste.
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions until al dente and drain, reserving ½ cup starchy cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add pesto and stir to combine with the garlic. Reduce heat to medium and simmer.
- Return drained pasta to the pot. Add 1½ cups pesto and starchy cooking water and toss to combine. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with panko.