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Originally Published in Picnic by the Lake

One head of cauliflower

1/2 pound mini shell pasta

1/2 cup parmesan

1 cup fresh basil

About 3 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh juice from 1 lemon

1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts

Salt and pepper to taste

Break and chop the cauliflower into small florets. When you’re left with the main stalk, peel and shop into small dices. Cook the stalk in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. Add the florets and continue to cook about 3 more minutes and tender. Use a mesh spider to lift all the cauliflower out, then transfer to ice water to stop the cooking process. The boiling water can now be used to cook the pasta.

While it’s cooking, set aside a few florets for garnish. The remaining cauliflower, basil, oil, lemon juice, and nuts can be combined in a food processor and pureed. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and toss with the pesto. A little dash of pasta water can be folded in so that the pesto coats everything evenly. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Cool and store covered.

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