Makes 4 servings
Melissa, my pseudo adopted daughter, and family sent us a nice cheese package for Xmas and one was manchego cheese. Lyn saw this recipe in the Boston Globe and we tried and will try again and again. Of course, I cut it in half since there were only two of us but here is the complete recipe for 4.
From Milk Street: The idea for this pesto came from Spanish romesco, a heady sauce that counts nuts, olive oil, smoked paprika, and dried ñora peppers among its ingredients. In keeping with the Spanish theme, we use manchego cheese, a semi-hard aged sheep’s-milk cheese with grassy notes, a subtle piquancy, and a salty-savory finish. A generous dose of oregano adds bold herbal flavor and freshness.
2¾ ounces manchego cheese (without rind), chopped into rough 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup whole roasted or raw almonds
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
Note: I used a heaping tablespoon of dried, since my fresh is buried under 15″ of snow
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup drained roasted red peppers, patted dry
1 pound Fusilli pasta (you could use whatever pasta you like)
In a food processor, pulse the manchego to the texture of coarse sand; transfer to a bowl. Process the almonds, oregano, paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper until finely chopped, scraping the bowl. Add the manchego and half the oil, then process until smooth. Add the peppers and remaining oil; pulse until creamy.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup water, then drain. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding cooking water as needed to help the sauce cling. Season with salt and pepper.
What is Fusilli (foo-SILL-ee) it is a type of Italian pasta shaped like curly spirals or little springs. Fusilli is often served with thicker sauces like meat sauces and heavy cream sauces, since the grooves in the pasta trap sauce. The word fusilli comes from “fuso” meaning spindle—a spindle rod is traditionally used to spin the strips of pasta into a spiral shape.