Brazil Nut Pesto with Pasta

This recipe from the cookbook, Nuts in the Kitchen by Susan Herrman Loomis.


  • 1/2 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups gently packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 pound dried penne fusilli pasta or any fanciful shape that will grab the pesto

**Note: Only half of the pesto is used here, so you will have some left over to use as you like.


  1. Place the nuts and the garlic in a food processor or in a mortar and pulse or crush until they are coarsely chopped. Add the herbs and lemon zest and process or pound until all are blended into a relatively smooth but still somewhat chunky mixture. With the food processor running, or stirring with pestle, slowly add the olive oil until it is combined with the herbs and nuts.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano until thoroughly combined. Season with salt if necessary and reserve.
  3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Place the pasta in the salted water and cook just until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving come of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and stir in half the pesto. Taste for seasoning and moisture. If you want the pasta with a more intense pesto flavor, add additional pesto. If the pasta is dry, add some of the cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the pasta is moist enough to suit you. Serve immediately.


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