Skip the Restaurant: 10 Meal Ideas to Cook for Valentine's Day

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Mushroom and Basil-Walnut Pesto Pasta
Courtesy of The New Baguette6/10

Mushroom and Basil-Walnut Pesto Pasta


For the pesto:

  • 1 large (or 2 small) bunch basil, stemmed
  • 1/3-cup walnut halves
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • About 1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound short-cut pasta, like farfalle, penne or gemelli
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 10 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 oz grated or shaved parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To make the pesto:
  • In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine the basil, walnuts, and garlic.
  • Pulse until everything is broken down into small bits. 
  • With the motor running, stream in the lemon juice and olive oil, and puree until smooth. 
  • Remove the blade; stir in the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the pasta:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  • In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Once butter is melted and gently bubbling, add mushrooms. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mushrooms are well browned, season with pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente and set aside 1/4 cup pasta cooking water before draining. Transfer drained pasta to the skillet with mushrooms (kept over low heat) and add reserved pasta water, pesto, and cheese. Stir to combine. Taste and re-season if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy Alexandra Shytsman of 

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