I really love the pesto, but this dish is one of my big problems. For two reasons. The first: You can prepare only in some months of the year, When there is fresh basil. The second: Despite me being successful with many extra touches to get a bright green pesto, When this beautiful pesto green touches the hot pasta will oxidize, becomes dark and in photography makes it really bad. Why I decided to experience another kind of pesto, made with Swiss chard, I love it and I can eat when the Basil is not there. This also I prepare raw, not sbollento vegetables, and use only the most tender leaves and not the coasts. Chard I add chopped walnuts, pecorino cheese Dop, garlic, Salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. You can prepare with mortar to have a coarse pesto and consistent; or with the Blender, to have a smooth and creamy pesto. The flavor? Yummy: mineral, with a strong hint of chlorophyll and a slight bitter tip at the end, mitigated by the pecorino and walnuts. It's a recipe very quick and ' raw ', that is, raw. In short, you don't have to cook anything except the pasta. Is, for that, Swiss chard still retains its bright green color. And finally a pesto that does not oxidize!
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 200 grams of chard (the smaller ones and keep)
- 80 grams of grated pecorino cheese Dop
- 10 walnuts
- salt and pepper: just enough
- 2 garlic cloves, deprived of the soul
- extra virgin olive oil: just enough
- 350 grams of linguine
- PDO pecorino for garnish: just enough
- chopped walnuts for garnish: just enough
Wash the beets, dry them thoroughly and eliminate the coasts and filamentous parts (with the coasts you can make a risotto or soup). At this point you can decide whether to use the mortar or food processor blades: the result of course will be different, more consistent and homogeneous's first and finest coarse and the second. I preferred a pesto creamy and smooth and so I used the food processor blades.
Put the spinach coarsely in a food processor or in a mortar, with the chopped walnuts and garlic and blend (or crush) gradually adding a little oil in order to emulsify it all. When you've got a sauce, Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
You can save this pesto, that will stay bright green without oxidizing, in the refrigerator covered with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil for three days, or freeze it.
Cook pasta in salted water, then drain it al dente keeping a glass of boiling water. Stir the dough off the heat with beetroot pesto by adding if necessary a bit of cooking water and serve garnished the dish with grated pecorino cheese Dop and chopped walnuts. Bon appétit!
THE PAIRING: The vegetal notes of this recipe and its flavor are combined with spumante Trento Doc, classic method. We chose the Rotari cuvee 28 plus, produced with only Chardonnay grapes, the cellars Mezzacorona, in Trentino. Between the feelings that this wine offers: the ripe yellow fruit, the hazelnut, the almond, with sweet notes of vanilla. A very fine perlage joins a not excessive acidity. Served at a temperature of 7 degrees.