Deconstructed Pesto Pasta

Deconstructed Pesto Pasta

Serves 4-6 as a main course

Kosher salt
6 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. dried fusilli or radiatore pasta
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
4 oz. coarsely grated Pecorino Romano (about 1 cup); more for serving
2 cups packed fresh sweet basil leaves or your favorite basil variety, cut into 1/4 in wide strips.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet, gently heat the olive oil and sliced garlic over low heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic starts to turn golden, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in about 3/4 tsp. kosher salt and 4 tsp. pepper.

Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water before draining it. Return the pasta water before draining it. Return the pasta to the pot. Pour the garlic and olive oil of the hot pasta and toll. Pour the reserved pasta water into the skillet, swirl it around, pour it over the pasta, and toss well. Add the pine nuts and cheese and toss again until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, just before serving, toss again until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, just before serving, toss in the basil. Pass extra cheese around with a grater for those who want more.