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'Nduja & Corn Orecchiette with Pistachio Pesto

'Nduja & Corn Orecchiette with Pistachio Pesto


  • ¼ cup Sicilian or shelled pistachios, unsalted, toasted

  • 2 cups arugula

  • ½ cup each packed mint and flat-leaf parsley

  • 6 oz. pecorino, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tbsp. zest from a lemon or lime and 1 tbsp. juice

  • ½ cup EVOO

  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper

  • 1 lb. orecchiette

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 2 large ears of corn, kernels removed

  • 1 leek or 1 bunch green onions or scallions, whites and light greens, chopped

  • 1 fresh chili pepper, jalapeño pepper, or red finger chili, seeded and finely chopped

  • 4 oz. 'nduja


  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • Step 2

    In the bowl of a food processor, make pesto by combining the pistachios, arugula, mint, parsley, pecorino, and zest. Pulse until very finely chopped, then add the lemon juice. Pulse in the EVOO; season with the crushed red pepper and salt to taste.

  • Step 3

    Salt the water once it's boiling, then add the pasta. Cook 1 minute less than the package directions, reserving 3/4 cup of pasta cooking water before draining.

  • Step 4

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter. When it bubbles, add the corn, leek, chili pepper, and a large pinch of salt; sauté until vegetables start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 'nduja and cook, breaking up 'nduja with a wooden spoon, until it darkens in color and the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta, pesto, and reserved pasta water to the pan, stirring until coated. Serve from skillet or large serving bowl.