Charred Scallion Pesto Pasta
Grilled scallions add a robust smoky flavor to pasta with pesto.
- 3 bunches scallions, trimmed and cut in half
- Canola oil, for drizzling
- Sea salt and pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti or egg tagliatelle
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- 1/2cup packed flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2cup loosely packed fresh mint
- 1/2cup graed Parmigiano-Reggiano (a couple of handfuls)
- 1 lemon, zested
- About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Grated ricotta salata, for serving (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
Heat a skillet, grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, drizzle the scallions with canola oil if grilling, or add canola oil to the grill pan, 1 turn of the pan. Season the scallions with sea salt and pepper, then sear or char until lightly caramelized at the edges and blackened in a few spots, about 3 minutes.
Place in a food processor and let cool.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente.
Add the garlic, herbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest and EVOO to the scallions; pulse into a thick pesto. Transfer to a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Just before draining the pasta, add about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce and stir to combine. Drain the pasta; toss with sauce 1 to 2 minutes. Top with ricotta salata and serve.