Ricotta and walnuts pesto

Ricotta and walnuts pesto

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups walnut halves, or pieces, toasted
1½ cups ricotta, preferably fresh
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons Provolone, freshly grated, or more for passing
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter, softened


Put the walnuts and garlic in the food processor, and pulse until the nuts are chopped into very tiny bits (but don't grind them to a powder). Scrape the ground nut-garlic mixture into the large bowl, and stir in the ricotta, olive oil, grated cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper, until thoroughly blended. When the pesto is ready and the water is boiling, drop all the pasta into the pot at once, and stir to loosen and separate the strands. Cover the pot, and over high heat return the water to a boil rapidly. Set the cover ajar, and cook the pasta until the pasta are perfectly al dente. Working quickly, lift out the pasta with a spider and tongs, and drop into the bowl with the dressing. Drop the soft butter in dollops on the hot pasta, and toss until all the strands are nicely coated with the pesto- if the dressing is too thick, loosen it with a bit of hot water from the pasta pot as you toss. Serve immediately in warm bowls, with more grated cheese at the table
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