So I have all of this cheese.
“I tried to get a dress on Rodeo Drive, and the women wouldn’t help me. And I have all of this money, and no dress! Not that I expect you to help me, but I have all this, okay? I have to buy a dress for dinner tonight. And nobody will help me.”
Anyway, I have all of this glorious homemade cheese, and because it’s not considered “proper” to sit in front of the refrigerator with a spoon, I had to find something to do with it. First, I simply slathered some on some toasted bread with a little kosher salt, then drizzled it with honey. K said I reinvented the pizza. I think it was a compliment.
Other than that, pasta was the natural choice, because pasta is always the natural choice.
You could stop with just the Parmesan cheese if you wanted to. That’s a perfectly respectable pasta dish.
But that would be a mistake! Remember the cheese that you made from scratch the day before? The one that convinced you that your calling is to move to Vermont and start a dairy farm and cheese business? REMEMBER? Yeah. Dollop some of that right on top.
The toasted pecans bring out the nutty flavor of the pesto and give the dish a needed crunchy texture. Each time I got a pecan I was pleasantly surprised with the little bite it added.
So, here’s what you do:
1. Make cheese
2. Bounce around telling everyone that you made cheese.
3. Make a pesto pasta with toasted pecans and dollop some of that cheese on top.
Here’s the recipe!
Cavatappi Pasta with Pesto, Pecans and Homemade Ricotta
- 1 box of cavatappi pasta, which looks like spiral macaroni. You can use any short, grooved pasta. You just want to make sure it catches the pesto.
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (you could use walnuts here too. Delish)
- 3-4 heaping tablespoons of prepared pesto (or if you have homemade pesto, because the squirrels in your neighborhood didn’t eat all of your basil leaves, go ahead. Use that.)
- A dollop of homemade ricotta cheese. I used a lot, but I’ll leave this up to your discretion.
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir once, then cook according to package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped pecans to a dry skillet. Turn the heat to medium and toast the pecans, moving them around occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until you start to smell them. When done, remove from the heat and set aside.
- When the pasta is finished cooking and drained, return it to the pot and add the pesto. Stir to combine.
- Serve in a bowl with chopped pecans on top, and a little grated Parmesan. Add a dollop of homemade ricotta cheese right on top. Season with salt and pepper if needed.