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Orecchiette with Red Pepper Pesto



ORECCHIETTE with RED PEPPER PESTO
Olive Garden Recipe

Serves 4

1/2 cup walnut pieces
12 ounce canned roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, washed and dried
2 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound orecchiette pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
12 fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and cut in thin strips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
TOASTED WALNUTS: Place walnuts on sheet tray. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

RED PEPPER PESTO: Combine red peppers, toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, basil, parsley and garlic in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add olive oil and process until mixture forms a coarsely chopped paste.

FINAL PLATING: Cook orecchiette pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and return pasta to pot. Heat red pepper sauce in a sauce pot, stir in butter (if using) and reserved cooking liquid. Cook just until sauce is heated through. Stir in pasta and coat with sauce. Transfer the pasta to serving plates and top each with toasted walnut pieces and shredded basil.

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