Recipe of the Month:
Sorento Lemon Peel Pesto
Annie Bunker, Faceplant Farm
Unlike any other pesto, this one relies on thyme and lemon peel, instead of basil, for all its flavor, with a creamy base of macnuts, olive oil, and romano cheese. This light and lemony sauce is fragrant and mild, adding a lovely, balanced flavor to a variety of dishes, especially pasta!
1 cup lemon peel strips chopped*
5 large garlic cloves**
1/3-1/2 cups fresh lemon juice***
2 teaspoons dried thyme or 2 Tablespoons fresh
3/4 cup Olive oil
3/4 cup Macnuts
2 cups Grated Romano cheese
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound angel hair pasta or any pasta you prefer
1 bag of spinach
Chopped parsley for top garnish
*We use our Sorento lemons but Meyer lemons are fine as well
** Add more or less depending on how much you love garlic
*** Like it really lemony? Add up to 1/2 cup of juice
Set water to boil for pasta
Wash and peel lemons
Cut lemon peel into strips, then medium chop.
Once water is boiling, generously salt and add pasta
Place chopped lemon peel and garlic in a blender or food processor to mince.
Pause the unit, Scrape down the sides and add lemon juice and thyme. Process mixture to pulverize ingredients.
Add oil in a stream with unit running.
Pause unit and add macnuts and 1/2 of Romano cheese. Process mixture until fairly smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Just before the pasta finish cooking, stir in spinach
Once pasta is done, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the hot pasta water before draining/rinsing pasta.
Drain and quickly rinse pasta, toss with a wee bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
In the pasta pot, mix in lemon pesto sauce with 3/4 cup of hot pasta water. If mixture is still a wee bit thick, add a bit more of the hot water until consistency is like heavy cream.
Toss pasta back into pot until pasta is covered with sauce.
Dish out and top with remaining Romano cheese and chopped parsley. You can also add grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes, or any other toppings you like!