Fusilli with Pea Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella

ingredients

4 to 6 servings
 
Pasta
Kosher saltkosher salt1
1 pound fusilli pastafusilli pasta1
½ cup grated Parmesanparmesan cheese½
Pesto
1 tablespoon plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil1
1 large shallot, choppedshallots1
1 ½ teaspoons kosher saltkosher salt1 ½
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepperfreshly ground black pepper¼
⅓ cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigiodry white wine
2 ½ cups frozen peas, thawedfrozen peas2 ½
4 ounces smoked mozzarella, rind removed, grated (1 cup)smoked mozzarella cheese4
1 packed cup baby spinach leavesbaby spinach1
½ cup grated Parmesanparmesan cheese½
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, from ½ a large lemonlemon juice2
Zest of 1 large lemonlemon(s)1
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely choppedtoasted sliced almonds½

instructions

 
Pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the cheese and toss until coated.
Pesto
In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peas, smoked mozzarella, spinach, Parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the cooked shallot mixture. Blend until smooth, but still slightly chunky.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.

cook's notes

To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.
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