Rasta Pasta with Macadamia Nut Jerk Pesto Recipe

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Florida Keys & Key West Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Conch Republic

  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Pesto
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 0.12 cup macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) fresh basil, leaves and crowns only, stems discarded
  • ½ cup first-cold-pressed olive oil
  • 0.12 cup extra-virgin hemp oil or first-cold-pressed olive oil
For the Pasta
  • 1 (12-ounce) box angel hair pasta (for gluten-free, use pad thai rice noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup chopped fresh tomato, divided
  • 4 fresh basil crowns
How to Make It
    To Make the Pesto
  1. Place garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add nuts, cheese, salt, and pepper and process until finely chopped. Add jerk seasoning and basil and pulse until finely chopped. With  processor running, slowly add both oils until the pesto becomes a thick paste. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate pesto until needed.
  2. To Prepare the Pasta
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook to al dente following package instructions. (If using rice noodles, be very careful not to overcook them.) Drain cooked pasta.
  4. Place a large saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is warm, add pesto and cook, stirring constantly, until pesto has reached that "magical place" between warm and hot. Stir angel hair into pesto and divide pasta among 4 individual pasta bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoon tomato, and a basil crown. Serve immediately.

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