There was no way I was going to give up pasta with pesto sauce, bursting with fresh basil, when I went gluten-free, so I sought out great gluten-free pastas. This all-purpose sauce is also good over chicken or fish.
Fresh basil leaves, 2cups (2oz/60g) packed
Shallots, 2, or 1garlic clove, coarsely chopped
Walnuts, ¼cup (1oz/30g)
Lemon zest, 2teaspoons finely grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepperExtra-virgin olive oil, ¼cup (2fl oz/60ml)
Pecorino romano cheese, ¼cup (1oz/30g) freshly grated, plus more as needed
Gluten-free penne pasta, ½lb (250g)
Sugar snap peas, 10oz (315g), strings removed
Shelled English peas, 10oz (315g), or 1package (10-oz/310g) frozen peas
In a food processor, combine the basil, shallots, walnuts, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until finely ground. With the machine running, gradually add the oil. Mix in ¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper.
Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (or 4 minutes less than the cooking time indicated on the package). Add the sugar snaps and peas and cook until the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes longer.
Remove ¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) of the pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta and peas. Put the pesto in a large bowl. Whisk in enough of the reserved cooking water to thin to a sauce. Add the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat. Thin with more cooking liquid and season with salt if needed. Serve right away, passing additional cheese alongside.