Tagliolini with parsley-basil-garlic scape pesto, just in time for summer.

Image of tagliolini noodles (very thin pasta) with green pesto sauce garnished with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Two years ago, I shared the pasta I served at my brother-in-law’s rehearsal dinner: tagliolini with pistachio-orange pesto, and it feels right to be talking about pesto once again, because who likes making intense tomato sauces once summer hits? (I do, at least when the really good tomatoes start popping up in the market and the farm stands!) While making a trip back to visit family earlier this month, we stopped at my favorite farm stand to see if they had any late-spring goodies; specifically, I was on the hunt for garlic scapes. Lo and behold: they had them! I was so excited, I bought two bunches and then it took another week for me to start using them.

First up: this pesto. I’ve written about my love of pesto sauces and how versatile they are many times in this space, but I love how versatile they are and how happy they make me to see them rubbed on chicken thighs or tangled in nests of noodles. I’m sharing this one because Michael could not stop eating it, and if he enjoyed it so much, well, you might too. This draws on some of my pesto go-to ingredients–using parsley as the base herb and pistachio as the nut component–but it also uses garlic scapes in lieu of garlic cloves and basil leaves because my basil plants were in need of pruning. 

Basil and parsley play really well together, and what I like is that you don’t have to massacre your basil plants in order to make this sauce; again, because I like parsley as the base herb, you don’t need the massive amounts of basil leaves traditional recipes call for, and it means you can play around with the combination of herbs to find those that you like. 

It’s light, it’s easy, and you can make it ahead so that if you find yourself spending most of the afternoon at a beer farm flinging off cicadas, you can still come home for dinner and have this ready to go at a reasonable hour.

Happy official summer friends–let’s keep the great food coming. 

Tagliolini with parsley-basil-garlic scape pesto

Serves 4-6

  • 1 recipe pasta dough (found here), at room temperature
  • 1 bunch parsley leaves, large stems removed
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 4-5 garlic scapes, sliced
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Make the tagliolini: using a bench knife, divide the dough and start rolling out the dough on its widest setting–being sure to fold the ends of the dough into the middle like a book, rotating it 90 degrees, and rolling it out again, and then proceed to roll out the dough to a 6 setting on the Mercato Atlas 150 machine. Cut the dough sheets using the thin cutter, wrap into nests, and let rest on a silicone mat or lightly floured parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bring a pot of water to boil in the meantime. (Keep the pot on low until you’re ready to boil and it will take about five minutes for it to come to boil.)

To make the pesto: combine the herbs, garlic scapes, pistachios, and about ¼ of the olive oil into a food processor or a container that you can use an immersion blender in and begin to process. Add more olive oil until the paste is smooth, and then season with salt and pepper.

When the water is at a boil, season with kosher salt, and then add the noodles and cook for about two minutes. Drain, add the noodles back to the pot, and start adding the pesto and stir well to combine. You may have a little leftover, which you can use with grilled meats or fish if you so please. Garnish with the grated cheese and serve immediately.

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