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Penne with Feta and Hazelnut Pesto

No recipe image available.Hazelnuts replace traditionally used pine nuts in this basil-based pesto which is combined with feta cheese and tossed with penne pasta.

Recipe Ingredients:

8 ounces penne pasta

Hazelnut Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and lightly packed
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

4 ounces feta cheese, at room temperature

Cooking Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. For Hazelnut Pesto: Place the basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse 3 times to start the chopping process. Turn the machine on and drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream. Season with salt. Makes 1 cup.
  3. Place the pesto in a large sauté pan. Whisk in the cheese until smooth.
  4. Toss the cooked penne into the pesto mixture and stir together over very low heat for 1 minute until thoroughly coated and heat through.
  5. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.