I recently found myself with a surplus of basil and parmesan in my refrigerator. Pesto came to mind. I like this subtle riff with the addition of pistachios. While I served it with a winter squash, tossed with pasta this pesto would go well with any summertime veggies, especially raw, thinly sliced summer squash or hearty chunks of heirloom tomato. I love it when my refrigerator leads the way.
1 smallish butternut squash
2 cups tightly packed basil leaves (about one large bunch)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons pistachios
1 ounce parmesan cheese, plus extra for grating
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
10 ounces whole grain pasta of choice
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set a pot of water to boil on the stove.
Trim and peel the squash. Cut it roughly into ½-inch chunks. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, small pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of pepper and place in oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown.
Meanwhile, place basil, pine nuts, pistachios, parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Add ice water if needed to get the puree going. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
Cook the pasta and then toss with the pesto and roasted squash. If needed use a splash of pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce. Top with a few extra gratings of parmesan and serve.