START TO FINISH: 35 minutes MAKES 6 to 8 servings
15 cloves garlic, peeled
1⁄3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 16-ounce package dried fusilli, gemelli, or tagliatelle pasta
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (1⁄2 ounce)
3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup small fresh basil leaves
1⁄4 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (1 ounce)
1 In a large saucepan cook garlic cloves in a large amount of boiling, lightly salted water for 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the 1⁄3 cup basil leaves to the boiling water and cook for 5 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove basil and drain well on paper towels. (Do not drain boiling water.) Add basil to blender or food processor.
2 Cook pasta in the reserved boiling water according to package directions. Using a ladle, remove 1⁄2 cup of cooking water; set aside. Drain pasta. Return pasta to hot pan; cover and keep warm.
3 Meanwhile, for pesto, add oil, 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts, the 2 tablespoons cheese, the salt, and pepper to blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth (pesto will be thin).
4 Add pesto to cooked pasta; toss gently to coat. If necessary, add enough of the reserved 1⁄2 cup cooking water to help coat the pasta evenly with pesto. Transfer pasta mixture to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the 1 cup basil leaves, the 1⁄4 cup cheese, and the remaining pine nuts.
PER SERVING: 518 cal., 25 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 5 mg chol., 264 mg sodium, 61 g carb., 3 g fiber, 14 g pro.