Difficulty Level: Easy
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 2-4 servings
1/2 lb. mezzi rigatoni, bronze cut
1 cup basil leaves, packed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz. smoked mozzarella, shredded
For the pesto, add the basil leaves, garlic, 1/4 cup Parmigiano, pine nuts, salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon to a blender. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil (roughly 1/4 cup) and blend until smooth.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta until it's al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, add the pesto to a sauté pan over low heat along with the heavy cream. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano and smoked mozzarella.
Strain the pasta and reserve 3/4 cup pasta water. Add the pasta directly to the pan with the creamy pesto sauce and 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss over high heat until combined. Add more pasta water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.
Top with more grated Parmigiano