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Pasta with Lemon-Walnut Pesto and Breadcrumbs Recipe


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     Pasta with Lemon-Walnut Pesto and Breadcrumbs

Category   Entrees - Maindishes
Sub Category   None
Servings   4

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup coarse, fresh breadcrumbs or plain panko
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 3/8 oz.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves; more for garnish
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 Tbs. chopped preserved lemon
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, coarsely chopped
12 oz. pasta, such as casarecce

In a medium skillet, melt the butter with 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until golden-brown and toasted, about 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Stir 1 Tbs. of the cheese into the breadcrumbs, and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a food processor, combine the basil, walnuts, preserved lemon, lemon juice, and garlic, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, pour in the remaining 1/2 cup oil until the mixture is finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and then drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta to the bowl with the pesto, and toss to coat. Add tablespoonfuls of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Divide the pasta among four bowls, and garnish with the breadcrumbs and torn fresh basil leaves.

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