We think that life is too short for one type of pesto. So why don’t you “Greek up” your pesto pasta by replacing basil with oregano and pine nuts with almonds?
500g pasta –we recommend linguini or whole wheat penne
For the pesto
200g feta crumbled
1/2 teacup Kalamata olives –without their pits
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (and 1/4 cup for serving)
2 garlic cloves
25g almonds –toasted, if desired for enhanced flavour
Bunch of parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
Mizithra or graviera for serving
Freshly ground pepper
Sesame and parsley (if desired) for serving
Tip the pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Set aside 1/2 cup of pasta water.
In the meantime, place the parsley, almonds, cloves and oregano in the bowl of a food processor (or blender) fitted with a steel blade and blend to a puree. Add the olives, feta and pasta water and blend again. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoons to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.
Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding pesto, sesame, freshly ground pepper, parsley (if desired) and cheese as you continue to toss, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy! Store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.