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Green Olive Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese

In this deliciously different pesto, olive and parsley stand in for basil and almonds for pine nuts.  It’s a strong flavor, but a nice one for this dish, incorporated into a sauce with vinegar, cheese, and the pasta’s cooking liquid so it adheres well to the noodles.  The pesto mixture has lots of other uses too – spread on sliced French bread and back for a new twist on garlic bread, or try it as a tapenade spread at your next party.


  • 1/2 package of Austintatious Spinach Basil Garlic pasta
  • 1/2 package of Georgetown Garlic and Cracked pepper pasta
  • Alternative: also great with 1 package of Bandera Black Olive pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) pitted manzanilla (or green) olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat
    1. Drain pasta, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid
  2. Place olives, sliced almonds, flat-leaf parsley leaves, black pepper, and garlic in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until coarsely chopped
    1. With processor on, add 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vinegar through the food chute, processing until mixture is finely chopped
  3. Combine pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, and olive mixture in a large bowl
  4. Toss well
    1. Add enough of remaining 2 tablespoons cooking liquid to make pasta mixture moist, tossing well to coat
    2. Sprinkle with cheese
    3. Serve immediately
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