A tasty pesto with sharp herbal tones to match the robust, nutty taste of buckwheat noodles.
Chef’s tip: When making a pesto, don’t add the Parmesan till after you remove it from the food processor. that way, the cheese won’t melt with the heat of the motor. Also, always reserve some pasta water to add back to the pasta to create smooth, silky noodles. Lastly long pepper is a fragrant, fruity peppercorn with a hint of sweetness and it’s the spice du jour. Seek it out!
2 cups Thai basil, stems removed
1/2 cup Rau Ram – Vietnamese coriander leaves
3 sprigs green onions, green parts only
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon long pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
3 bunches dried soba, 1 inch diameter bunch
Preparing the Pesto:
1. Place all the herbs into the bowl of a food processor. Process to chop up the leaves. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Process till a smooth paste forms.
2. Add in pine nuts, salt and pepper, pulse to chop and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Transfer pesto to a bowl and mix in parmesan. Drizzle on some olive oil to keep pesto green.
Preparing the soba:
4. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the soba and cook at a rolling boil until el dente, about 3 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain, but save some of the pasta water. Transfer to a heated large bowl.
5. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding in some of the pasta water (about 1/4 cup).
6. Serve with grated Parmesan.
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