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2 In The Kitchen: Chef Ryan DePersio’s Almond Pesto Pasta

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Forget spending a wad of your cash on going out to dinner. Every Tuesday in July, straight from their menus, we’ll show you how to make your own takeout just as tasty as any restaurant.

Chef Ryan DePersio of NICO at NJPAC in Newark stopped by to make his own version of Pesto with almonds.

Check out NICO’s website here.

Click here for a printable recipe (.pdf)

NICO’s Almond Pesto Pasta

Cavatelli

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups durum flour
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper

Place flour in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta, olive oil, water. Make a well with flour and add liquid mix in center. Incorporate together slowly with a wooden spoon, stirring flour into liquid. Once incorporated, knead dough for 3-5 minutes or until stiff dough is formed.

Dust a tray with flour. Dust a clean work surface with flour as well. Attach cavatelli maker to table. Cut 2 oz. piece of dough and roll into 5-inch cylinders. Place in attachment and hand crank the dough. It will cut the cavatelli pieces one by one. Place on floured tray and repeat. When tray is full, place in freezer.

When cavatelli is frozen, take off tray and place 5 oz. of cavatelli in zip lock bags and keep frozen until ready to use.

You can buy pre-made pasta, if you don’t have time to make fresh.

Toasted Almond Pesto

  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 cup of basil
  • 1 cup of parsley
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 1 cup olive oil

Spread almonds on a tray and bake for 5 minutes on 300 degrees. Take out and cool.

In a blender, place almonds and cheese and blend for 30 seconds. Then add herbs and oils. Blend again for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and place in airtight container and refrigerate.

Vegetables

  • ¼ medium zucchini (small dice)
  • ¼ medium yellow squash (small dice)
  • 1 Tb. English peas
  • 1 Tb fava beans
  • ¼ cup of corn
  • ¼ cup of red bell peppers (small dice)
  • 5 small cauliflower florets
  • 5 small broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup of diced onions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch and shock vegetables, except onion. Dry on paper towels.

Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Empty 2 bags (10 oz.) of pasta into boiling water. Remove pasta after it rises to the top of water.

While preparing the pasta, place a 12 inch sauté pan on medium heat. Add 2 Tbs. of canola oil and 2 Tbs. of unsalted butter. When butter begins to foam, add onions and sweat for 30 seconds. Then add the rest of the vegetables and lightly caramelize.

Next, place a teaspoon of garlic in pan and deglaze with ¼ cup white wine. Reduce and add a ½ cup of pasta water. Stir in 2 Tbs. of pesto. Incorporate really well. Season and squeeze a half of lemon into sauce.

Add cooked pasta to vegetables in pesto sauce. Cook together for 10 seconds, stirring while it’s cooking.

Spoon into four bowls for a nice light appetizer or two bowls for entrée.