I think we can all agree that there’s no food as delicious or versatile as classic pasta. It’s such a simple food but is an incredible canvas for a *huge* array of different textures, flavors, and seasonal ingredients, and allows me to fully explore my creativity in the kitchen.
This post was made in partnership with Barilla®, but all opinions within are my own, per usual!
Earlier this month was the US-qualifying round for the Barilla® Pasta World Championships, and if you remember I was able to attend the global event in Italy last year when chef Carolina Diaz won. Well, she ended up winning the Pasta World championship and beating out chefs from all over the world, and she was there again this year, but this time as a judge! Woohoo!!!
Barilla has been hosting the Pasta World Championship to celebrate the heritage of Italian cooking + spread the passion for these traditional dishes far and wide. At the qualifying event, all the chefs brought their pasta A-game, but there was one stand out from the pack, and it was this incredibly herbal, nutty, sweet, and slightly tangy bucatini pistachio pesto made by chef Sean Turner. It uses fennel fronds, basil, parsley, lemon, parmesan, pistachios, and lots of delicious extra virgin olive oil to create a mind-blowingly delicious pesto that then coats every elegant curve of Barilla Collezione bucatini. If you’re unfamiliar with Collezione bucatini, it’s basically a type of pasta that’s slightly thicker than spaghetti, and with a hollow center running through the whole thing, which makes it perfect for catching sauce. This means that with every bite of bucatini, a little extra sauce bursts out, and as a lover of saucy pasta, this is a major win.
Bucatini isn’t as well-known in the US as other forms of pasta like spaghetti, but it’s been made in Italy for ages, and it’s awesome that now you can find it on the shelf of your grocery store through the help of Barilla, who have been dedicated to sharing different traditional forms of pasta for over 140 years. I *highly* recommend giving it a try, especially in the form of this refreshing and springy green bucatini pistachio pesto. And a huge congrats again to Sean Turner for winning the US-qualifying event and heading to Italy this October for the final Pasta World Championship where he’ll face off with chefs from all over the globe. I’m so excited to see what happens next!
As for the other chefs who competed, a huge thanks to Silvia Barban, Brandon Rosen, Ali LaRaia, Kelvin Fernandez, Kayla Greer, Angelina Bastidas, and Ryan Peters for coming and cooking up such an array of delicious pasta dishes. I really loved the seasonality of all the dishes that were made—as someone very passionate about seasonal cooking, it brings me lots of joy to see ingredients like fava bean greens, daikon sprouts, mustard greens, fennel fronds, and arugula flowers being used throughout. I can’t wait to see what seasonal autumnal goodness the chefs whip up in October! 😀
Bucatini Pistachio Pesto
This delicious and refreshing pistachio pesto was the winning recipe made by chef Sean Turner at the Pasta World Championship US-qualifying event in Pebble Beach. It's the ideal balance of bright, creamy, herbal, and nutty, and is perfect for a delicious spring dinner.
- 1 box 12 oz. Barilla® CollezioneBucatini
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 4 ounces basil leaves
- 2.5 ounces Italian parsley leaves
- 2.5 ounces fennel fronds
- 2.5 ounces diced shallots
- 5 ounces shelled pistachios toasted, plus additional for garnish
- 5 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus additional for garnish
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
- Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain, reserving pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, pulse lemon juice, herbs and shallots in food processor until almost a paste, scraping down side of bowl as needed. Add nuts, cheese and salt. Pulse until no whole nuts remain. With motor running, add oil in steady stream until well blended. Season with additional salt, if desired.
Transfer pesto to large deep skillet. Add 1 ounce pasta water and pasta. Toss until well coated, adding additional water as needed.
- Top each serving with additional cheese and nuts.
Below Images Provided By Barilla