While we love a classic pesto, we've riffed on the green pasta sauce by using walnuts instead of pine nuts, and thrown some blanched spinach in the mix. The spinach gives a real boost of fresh flavour and a bright, verdant appearance.
- 400 gm "00" flour
- 4 small eggs
- 25 gm (¼ cup) walnuts, plus extra coarsely chopped walnuts to serve
- 1 bunch English spinach
- 1 large bunch basil, plus extra leaves to serve
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 2 tbsp tbsp finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1For pasta dough, combine flour, eggs and 2 tsp cold water in a food processor and process until crumbs start to form, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Cover and set aside to rest (20 minutes).
- 2For sauce, preheat oven to 150°C. Roast walnuts on a tray until golden (5-7 minutes). Cool, then coarsely chop.
- 3Meanwhile, blanch spinach, basil and mint in a large saucepan of boiling water until bright green (10-20 seconds). Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in iced water (reserve pan with water for pasta). Drain and squeeze out excess water.
- 4Blend spinach, basil, mint, parmesan, oil and walnuts in a blender until smooth.
- 5Divide pasta dough into 6 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten, then roll through a pasta machine, starting at the widest setting and dusting with flour as necessary. Fold in half and repeat until pasta is smooth and silky, then continue rolling and folding, reducing the settings notch by notch, until dough is 2mm thick. Set sheets aside on a lightly floured tray to rest (20 minutes), then roll up and thinly slice into 5mm widths.
- 6Bring reserved pan of water back to the boil over high heat and season to taste with salt, then cook pasta until al dente (2-3 minutes). Drain, reserving 250ml pasta water.
- 7Add pasta and sauce back to pan and stir well to combine. Toss pasta and extra pasta water, if needed, until pasta is well coated in sauce. To serve, top pasta with parmesan, walnuts and basil.