I am pleased to share this easy-to-make pesto that, as many pasta dressing of the Italian tradition, is made of the very simple ingredients people could have at hand, or wild plants like rocket salad used to be.
Once again, first quality fresh ingredients, Italian cheeses (Italian sounding is not the same!) and good extra olive oil are the secrets of this simple, full of flavour recipe.
You can prepare the dressing in advance: it keeps for a day or so in the fridge, but also you can freeze it in portions in an air tight container or jars.
The only fuss of this recipe is to peel the walnuts from its dark skin, but it is worth the effort because you will have a smother result.
Ingredients for 4 people:
320 grs. Pasta (This was great, but you can also try smaller like "gnocchetti sardi")
100 grs /3.52 oz Rocket salad
50 gr. / 1.76 oz Walnuts
100 grs/ 3.52 (half a glass...) extra virgin olive oil (e.v.o.o.)
30 grs./ 1 oz. Grated Pecorino (sheep cheese)
30 grs./ 1 oz Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano
1 pinch salt + more to cook pasta
1) Put some water in a little pan and bring it to the boil. Throw in the walnuts and drain in a colander after a couple of minutes.
2) In the meanwhile wash, drain and dry the rocket and discard the stems.
3) Peel the walnuts, not so easy but feasible.
4) Put the walnuts, the cheeses, half of the e.v.o.o. and the rocket salad in a mixer - slowly at first - and work for few minutes adding the remaining oil little by little. Do not let the cream to warm up.
You should obtain a grainy cream. Refrigerate it.
5) In a large pan bring the water to the boil, add 3 teaspoons salt, and cook the pasta as suggested on the packaging. Respect the time!