Spicy Pesto with Linguine and Prosciutto

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Using pesto is a great and easy way to flavor pasta and adding cream cheese to the pesto makes a rich pesto. I like to use half arugula and half basil because of the arugulas  peppery flavor, however if you cant find arugula you can also use parsley with basil and a pinch of cayenne pepper for spice. The good thing about pesto is that it involves no cooking, all you need is a food processor. You can use the pesto striaght after making or leave it in the fridge where its flavor will and improve. If you omit the cheese its shell life will improve and it will last a week or so in an airtight container. It will turn dark over time as the herbs oxidise, but don’t worry this dosn’t affect the taste. 

Method

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove with salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and seperate as you add to the pot.  Stir the pasta as it cooks, cook until al dente, remove from the stove and drain the water.
  2. While your pasta is cooking make your pesto. Lightly toast the cashew nuts in a saute pan with no oil. Add the basil, arugula, garlic, canola oil, a pinch of cayenne and the cashews to a food processor and process. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese to the food processor and mix well. If the mixture is too thick add more oil
  3. Prepare your plates by laying prociutto about 3 slices per plate. While the pasta is still hot, stir in the pesto sauce and place on top the prosciutto. For a fancy touch like mine in the picture, saute a few basil leafs to add as a garnish. Recipe serves 3-4. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 x 4 oz pack prosciutto
  • arugula
  • fresh basil leafs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan/ romano
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 4 oz plain cream cheese
  • 1 cup canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 x 16 oz box linguine pasta
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