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Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Spaghetti With Canned-Clam Sauce Recipe

Spaghetti With Canned-Clam Sauce Recipe

It’s tempting to claim that this recipe for clam sauce, made with canned clams, is a product of coronavirus.

When you need some clams but all you got is cans.

  • Serves 4
  • 15 minutes

  • 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and divided
  • 2 celery ribs (5 oz; 140g), peeled (optional) and cut into small dice
  • 2 medium shallots (60g), minced
  • 1/2 cup (30g) finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 4 medium garlic cloves (15g), finely minced
  • 1 fresh green Thai chili (4g), thinly sliced (optional, see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Two (8-ounce; 237ml) bottles clam juice
  • Two (6.5-ounce; 184g) cans chopped or minced clams, clams and liquid divided
  • 1 lb (450g) spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Celery leaves (pale yellow-green leaves from the celery heart), for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a 12-inch stainless steel skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, and swirl pan until foaming subsides. Add celery, shallots, half the parsley (1/4 cup; 15g), garlic, Thai chili (if using), and a couple healthy grinds of black pepper to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and mixture is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add bottled clam juice along with liquid from canned clams but not the clam meat. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until liquid is slightly reduced and vegetables have infused broth, about 5 minutes—there should be enough liquid in the pan to fully submerge the pound of cooked pasta. Turn off heat and add clam meat and soy sauce.

  2. 2.

    In a pot of salted, boiling water, cook spaghetti, stirring frequently, until about 4 minutes shy of the way you like your pasta cooked (some would say “al dente”). When spaghetti is almost at that point of doneness, bring pan of clam sauce to a boil over high heat.

  3. 3.

    Using tongs, transfer spaghetti to pan with clam sauce, distributing pasta so it is mostly submerged in sauce. Cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked to your liking and sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and add salt if necessary.

  4. 4.

    Turn off heat, add remaining butter and parsley, and toss and stir spaghetti vigorously to incorporate parsley and emulsify butter into sauce. Divide pasta among four serving plates, spooning sauce and clams evenly over each portion. Garnish with celery leaves, and serve immediately, passing lemon wedges, for squeezing, at the table.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

Chimichurri’s etymology is steeped in lore, with some claiming it originated with an Irishman named “Jimmy McCurry” or a British meat man named “Jimmy Curry,” while others say it’s a mangled version of the phrase “give me the curry.” All we know for sure is that this tangy Argentinian sauce is a revelation with flank steak, complementing its hearty flavor with the herbal notes of fresh parsley and olive oil.

Fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar come together in a tangy sauce that works wonders on steak, contrasting the heavier flavors and textures inherent to beef.

  • Makes 1 cup
  • 15 minutes

  • 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley, washed and dried
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. 1.

    Place parsley, garlic, and oregano in the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

  2. 2.

    Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in oil, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Perfect Risotto Recipe

Perfect Risotto Recipe

A perfect plate of risotto should flow like lava if you tilt the plate. Spoon it onto a hot dish (and you must use a hot dish), and it should slowly spread out until it forms a perfectly level disk. But there are a lot of myths out there about how to make a perfect risotto. This recipes dispenses with the myths to give you risotto that’s perfectly creamy and nutty, using just one pan.

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 15 minutes

  • 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 13 1/2 ounces) risotto-style rice (see note)
  • 1 quart (950ml) low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 cup (240ml) white wine (optional; can be replaced with additional broth)
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter, plus more for finishing, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 small shallots, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 3 ounces (85g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped herbs or other garnishes, as desired

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine rice, chicken stock, and wine in a large bowl. Agitate rice with fingers or a whisk to release starch. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set in a 2-quart liquid cup measure or another large bowl. Allow to drain 5 minutes, stirring rice occasionally.

  2. 2.

    Heat butter and oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add rice and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until all liquid has evaporated, fat is bubbling, and rice has begun to take on a golden blond color and nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Give reserved broth a good stir and pour all but 1 cup over rice. Increase heat to high and heat until simmering. Stir rice once, cover, and reduce heat to lowest possible setting.

  3. 3.

    Cook rice for 10 minutes, undisturbed. Stir once, shake pan gently to redistribute rice, cover, and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender with just a faint bite, about 10 minutes longer.

  4. 4.

    Remove lid and add final cup of stock. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and shaking rice constantly, until risotto is thick and creamy. Off heat, fold in heavy cream and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in herbs as desired. Serve immediately on hot plates.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Pasta With Beans and Greens Recipe

Pasta With Beans and Greens Recipe

Pantry and budget-friendly meals are always good to have in your cooking repertoire. This recipe, which features humble ingredients but standout flavor, is a great example. Beans and greens are a classic pairing in Italian peasant cuisine (as well as in many other cuisines from around the world), known as cucina povera (“poor cuisine”).

Creamy beans and hearty greens are the perfect pairing for pasta.

  • Serves 4
  • 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves (20g), thinly sliced
  • 3 anchovy fillets (5g) (optional; see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine
  • 1 pound 5 ounces (3 cups; 600g) cooked dry white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern) or two (15-ounce; 425g) cans low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed (see note)
  • 1 cup (240ml) bean cooking liquid, homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, or vegetable stock (see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces (350g) short tubular pasta, such as paccheri or rigatoni
  • 1 bunch (8 ounces; 225g) lacinato kale, tough stems removed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces (see note)
  • 2 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup; 65g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a large straight-sided sauté pan or skillet, combine olive oil, garlic, and anchovies (if using). Cook over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up anchovies occasionally with a wooden spoon, until anchovies have dissolved and garlic has softened and is just beginning to turn lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Bring to a simmer and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any stuck-on bits with a wooden spoon, until wine has emulsified with olive oil and mixture is slightly reduced, about 30 seconds.

  2. 2.

    Add beans and bean cooking liquid (if using cooked dry beans) or stock (if using canned beans), and, using a wooden spoon, crush roughly one-quarter of the beans against the sides and bottom of pan. Stir well, season lightly with salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until bean mixture is thickened to a creamy, saucy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until softened on the exterior, but well shy of al dente and still uncooked in the center (about 3 minutes less than the package directions). Right before the pasta reaches this level of doneness, add the kale to the pan with the beans. Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pan with beans and kale along with 1 cup (240ml) pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 2 cups (475ml) pasta cooking water.

  4. 4.

    Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. At this point, the sauce should coat the pasta but still be loose enough to pool around the edges of the pan; because of the starch in the beans and pasta water, the sauce will continue to tighten up in the time it takes to plate and serve, so make sure it’s a little looser than you would normally serve a sauce. Remove from heat, add 3/4 of grated cheese, and stir rapidly to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing remaining grated cheese at the table.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Creamy Orecchiette With Spring Onions, Fennel, and Bacon Recipe

The sauce for this simple pasta dish is inspired by French soubise, a rich purée of cooked onions and cream. This version uses spring onions and fennel that are quickly softened with the help of a little baking soda for easy blending. Smoky American-style bacon and Parmigiano-Reggiano add savory depth to the sauce, which is punched up with a healthy amount of black pepper. Green food doesn’t have to be health food.

Borrowing a classic French sauce technique, this easy pasta dish balances cheesy, bacon-y richness with bright and light spring vegetables.

  • Serves 4
  • 30 minutes

  • 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 slices (about 6 ounces; 170g) thick-cut bacon
  • 1 pound (450g) spring onions, trimmed, white and green parts divided and thinly sliced (see note)
  • 1 fennel bulb (about 1 pound; 450g), cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (235ml) heavy cream
  • 1 pound (450g) dried orecchiette pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (about 3 ounces; 85g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a large, straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until meaty parts are crisp and fatty parts are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to a cutting board and reserve rendered bacon fat in the pan. Cut bacon crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces; set aside.

  2. 2.

    Return pan to stovetop and increase heat to medium-high. Add white and light green spring onion parts, fennel, and water, season with salt and cook, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add baking soda, stir to combine, and continue to cook until vegetables are very soft and beginning to break down, about 8 minutes longer.

  3. 3.

    Add remaining green parts of spring onions. Cook until well-incorporated with vegetable mixture and just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Transfer mixture to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and emulsified, about 1 minute. Season lightly with salt. Wipe out sauté pan and transfer blended sauce back to the pan, passing through a fine-mesh strainer if desired. Warm sauce over low heat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the pan to prevent skin from forming.

  5. 5.

    Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook orecchiette until just shy of al dente (about 1 minute less than the package directs). Reserve pasta cooking water.

  6. 6.

    Transfer pasta to pan along with 1/2 cup pasta water and bacon, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring rapidly until sauce has thickened slightly and pasta is well-coated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, season generously with pepper, add Parmigiano, and stir rapidly to combine. Season with salt, if needed. Divide pasta into serving bowls and garnish with reserved fennel fronds. Serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Easy Breaded Fried Chicken Cutlets Recipe

Fried chicken cutlets are a surprisingly fast and easy weeknight dinner. The secret to the richest, deepest flavor: Add clarified butter to the skillet instead of frying oil (though frying oil works fine, too).

Frying chicken doesn’t have to be an endless ordeal. These fried chicken cutlets come together surprisingly quickly, without sacrificing any flavor or texture.

  • Serves 2
  • 20 minutes

  • 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces; 140g)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (2 ounces; 60g), roughly crushed by hand if very large
  • 1 ounce (30g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 to 7 ounces each), cut into 4 cutlets and pounded to about 1/4 inch thick each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Clarified butter or vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups; see note)
  • 5-Minute Radicchio and Watercress Salad (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. 1.

    Set 3 wide, shallow bowls on a work surface. Add flour to the first one, beaten eggs to the second, and panko and Parmesan cheese to the third. Mix panko and Parmesan thoroughly.

  2. 2.

    Season chicken cutlets all over with salt and pepper. Working with one at a time, dredge a cutlet in flour with your left hand, shaking off excess. Transfer to egg dish, then turn cutlet with your right hand to coat both sides. Lift and allow excess egg to drain off, then transfer to bread crumb mixture. With your left hand, scoop bread crumbs on top of chicken, then gently press, turning chicken to ensure a good layer of crumbs on both sides. Transfer cutlet to a clean plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

  3. 3.

    Fill a large cast iron skillet with 1/4 inch clarified butter or frying oil. (To speed things up even more, use 2 skillets simultaneously.) Heat cooking fat over high heat until shimmering and just shy of smoking, about 375°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  4. 4.

    Using tongs or your fingers, gently lower cutlets into the hot fat, laying them down away from you to prevent hot fat from splashing toward you. (Work in batches if necessary.) Fry, gently swirling pan and rotating cutlets for even browning, and adjusting heat as necessary for a steady, vigorous bubble, until bottom side is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip cutlets and fry until other side is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt right away. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Serve immediately with 5-Minute Radicchio and Watercress Salad and lemon wedges on the side, if desired.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Creamy Pasta With Mushrooms (Pasta ai Funghi) Recipe

Creamy Pasta With Mushrooms (Pasta ai Funghi) Recipe

Even though mushrooms are generally equated with the cool months of autumn, there are plenty of wild mushrooms that hit their seasonal peaks at other times of the year. Plus, modern cultivation methods have made a variety of fresh ‘shrooms available year-round, which is great news for those of us who love cooking and eating them all the time.

Shallots, garlic, white wine, and Parmesan bring out the earthy flavors of mushrooms in this comforting all-weather pasta.

  • Serves 4
  • 30 minutes

  • 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240ml) homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4g) powdered gelatin, such as Knox
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (675g) mixed mushrooms (such as shiitake, oyster, maitake, beech, cremini, and chanterelles), cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced or torn by hand (see note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium shallots, finely minced (about 3/4 cup; 120g)
  • 2 medium (10g) garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (4g) chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine or 1/4 cup (60ml) dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 pound (450g) short dried pasta (such as casarecce or gemelli) or long fresh egg-dough pasta (such as tagliatelle or fettuccine)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces; 85g)
  • 3 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup; 85g)
  • 1/4 cup (10g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions

  1. 1.

    Pour stock into small small bowl or liquid measuring cup and evenly sprinkle gelatin over surface of stock. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    In a large 12-inch cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are deeply browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Add shallots, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and shallots are softened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add wine or sherry, and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any stuck-on bits with a wooden spoon, until wine is reduced by half, about 30 seconds.

  4. 4.

    Add chicken stock mixture, season lightly with salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, add fish sauce (if using), and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushroom mixture is thickened to a saucy consistency, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

  5. 5.

    Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta. If using dry pasta, cook until just shy of al dente (1 to 2 minutes less than the package directs). If using fresh pasta, cook until noodles are barely cooked through. Using either a spider skimmer (for short pasta) or tongs (for long fresh pasta), transfer pasta to pan with mushrooms along with 3/4 cup (180ml) pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 2 cups (475ml) pasta cooking water.

  6. 6.

    Heat sauce and pasta over high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente (fresh pasta will never be truly al dente) and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. At this point, the sauce should coat the pasta but still be loose enough to pool around the edges of the pan. Add the butter, and stir and toss rapidly to melt and emulsify into the sauce. Remove from heat, add 3/4 of grated cheese and all of the parsley, and stir rapidly to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing remaining grated cheese at the table.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Fast and Easy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

This silky frosting is fluffy and light, but thick enough to hold its shape for days when piped over cupcakes in generous swirls. It’s tangy and fresh, like pure cream cheese with just a hint of vanilla. Even better, it takes only about 10 minutes to prepare. If you like, the recipe can be safely doubled, or even tripled.

Need a tasty cream cheese frosting, fast? This light, fluffy version takes just 10 minutes and holds its shape for days.

  • Makes about 2 cups
  • 8 minutes

  • 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 ounces sugar (about 1/2 cup; 100g); see note
  • 5 ounces heavy cream (shy 2/3 cup; 140g)
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume
  • 8 ounces plain, full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese, cold (one 8-ounce brick; 225g)

Directions

  1. 1.

    With kitchen temperatures above 74°F (23°C), start by refrigerating the mixing bowl and sugar until they have cooled to 70°F (21°C). At elevated temperatures, these ingredients and equipment can act as a heat source to the cream, preventing full aeration.

  2. 2.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, combine sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix at medium-low speed until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue beating until cream is about as thick as Greek yogurt, about 2 minutes longer. Begin adding cream cheese 2 tablespoons at a time; this should take about 30 seconds all together. Once it is incorporated, shut off the mixer. The frosting will look a bit curdled, like cottage cheese; this is the result of incomplete mixing rather than over-whipping, so don’t be alarmed.

  3. 3.

    Thoroughly scrape bowl and whisk, then continue whipping on high until frosting is smooth and light, with only a few small flecks of cream cheese (they will disappear into the frosting over time). This may take 2 to 3 minutes with a stand mixer, or more if using a hand mixer. After whipping, the frosting should be about 60°F (16°C). Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad Recipe

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad Recipe

Since the first time I was introduced to it, in 2005, watermelon and feta salad with mint has become a staple summertime dish at my place (and, no doubt, at many of your places as well), and I’ve learned a few things when adapting that recipe for home use. One: You can get rid of pretty much all of the extraneous ingredients. Two: The quality of the watermelon and, more critically, the feta is of utmost importance. And three: A little zest goes a long way.

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 5 minutes

  • 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds seedless watermelon (about 1 small or 1/4 large), rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 pounds/1kg chunks after rind is discarded)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice from 1 lemon, plus 4 (2-inch) strips zest, removed with a sharp vegetable peeler
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup (10g) roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Up to 4 ounces (1 quart) arugula leaves (optional; see note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (110g) feta cheese (see note)

Directions

  1. 1.

    Place watermelon chunks in a large bowl. Finely chop lemon zest. Add lemon juice and half of zest to bowl with watermelon. Add oil, mint, and arugula (if using) and toss until watermelon is evenly dressed. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper. (The cheese will add saltiness, so go light on the salt at this stage.)

  2. 2.

    Transfer salad to a wide, shallow bowl or a large plate and spread out evenly. Crumble feta over the top. Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest. Drizzle with more olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve immediately.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Pesto alla Trapanese (Sicilian Pesto With Almonds and Tomatoes) Recipe

Pesto alla Trapanese (Sicilian Pesto With Almonds and Tomatoes) Recipe

Pesto alla trapanese is Sicily’s answer to Liguria’s more famous basil-rich pesto sauce. They have a lot in common, as both are full of fresh basil, nuts, garlic, olive oil, and cheese. But where Ligurian pesto uses pine nuts, this one uses almonds, then adds juicy tomatoes on top of that. You can make this recipe the traditional way, with a mortar and pestle, for best results, or use a food processor for a sauce that’s less work and still excellent.

  • Serves 4
  • 30 minutes

  • 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 ounces toasted blanched almonds (60g; about 1/2 cup); see note
  • 35 large basil leaves (about 4 sprigs, weighing 25g total)
  • 2 to 4 mint leaves (optional)
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100g) grated cheese, preferably a milder aged pecorino or a 50/50 mix of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound (450g) plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound (450g) linguine

Directions

  1. 1.

    If Using a Mortar and Pestle: Crush the garlic in the mortar with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add almonds and beat and crush into a rough paste. Work in basil leaves and mint (if using), pounding and crushing into tiny bits. Smash in cheese, followed by tomatoes and olive oil. The final sauce should be a rough paste. Season with salt.

  2. 2.

    If Using a Food Processor: Pulse garlic with almonds until roughly chopped. Add basil, mint (if using), cheese, tomatoes, and olive oil and process to a rough paste. Season with salt.

  3. 3.

    Transfer two-thirds of the sauce to a large heatproof serving bowl.

  4. 4.

    In a pot of salted boiling water, cook linguine until al dente. Transfer pasta to serving bowl, reserving some of the pasta-cooking water. Toss well, adding more olive oil and pasta-cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time each, until a creamy sauce forms that’s not dry but also not soupy. Season with salt, if needed. If the sauce gets too dry at any point, simply add more pasta-cooking water to loosen it.

  5. 5.

    Serve, spooning remaining sauce on top of each portion and adding more cheese as desired.