This is my own variation on the famous pesto sauce. It is a lovely dish to greet springtime with, when the desire for the fresh taste of herbs seems to intensify. Try to cook the sauce by substituting, omitting or adding different herbs to suit your personal taste but include at least five. Rather than blend all the herbs to a paste, I prefer to chop them very finely by hand to give a little texture to the sauce. If you want to substitute dried pasta for the fresh, choose lingue di passero.
- 75 g (oz) butter
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped
- 8 tbsp finely chopped mixed fresh herbs: basil, mint, coriander, dill, chervil, parsley, chives
- 1 tbsp finely chopped sage or rosemary or oregano
- 25 g (1 oz) shelled hazelnuts, toasted
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 75 g (3 oz) freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 450 g (1 lb) fresh tagliolini or tagliatelle (or see above)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter, add the garlic and gently heat it through do not fry it. Add the herbs, hazelnuts, lemon zest and half the Parmesan. Now stir in the oil, salt and pepper. Cook the pasta for 1 minute or until al dente (or according to the packet instructions, if using dried), drain and toss it in the sauce. Add a little of cooking water if the mixture is too dry. Serve sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan.