Carrot Top Pesto with Whole Grain Penne
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Rach's favorite use for leftover leafy carrot tops is to turn it into this yummy pesto.
- 2 cups leafy carrot tops (from one bunch) stems trimmed, soaked in cold water and drained well
- ¼ cup tarragon leaves, stemmed
- A handful flat-leaf parsley tops
- 2 small cloves garlic
- About ⅓ cup toasted sliced almonds and pine nuts, combined
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- A couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, about ½ cup, plus some to pass at table
- About 5-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound whole wheat or farro penne rigate
Place carrot tops, tarragon, parsley, garlic, nuts (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish), lemon juice, salt, pepper and cheese in a food processor. Pulse chop into finely chopped mixture then stream in EVOO until pesto begins to pull away from sides of food processor. Transfer to serving bowl.
Bring water to a rolling boil for the pasta; salt the water and cook pasta to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of starchy water just before draining the pasta.
Drain pasta. Add half the starchy water to the bowl with the pesto along with the pasta and toss. Adjust seasoning and use additional hot water to thin as necessary to coat pasta evenly. Top pasta with remaining nuts and pass cheese at table.
You can eat this pasta hot, room temp or cold for lunch the next day.