Copyright 2009 by Kate Heyhoe
The "2-Minute" part of the pasta title refers to boiling time over live heat. Conventional recipes call for 8–10 minutes active boiling, but I prefer these results. Letting the pasta finish cooking passively, with heat turned off, uses less fuel and also prevents overcooking, ensuring al dente tenderness with proper toothiness. You can chop the pesto ingredients in a hand blender, food processor, by hand, or grind in a mortar and pestle.
1. If using a hand blender or small food processor, finely chop the garlic. Add the parsley and coarsely chop. Add the walnuts and chop until grainy. Add ½ cup of the feta and all of the oil. Process just until the mixture turns to a coarse paste. Pulse in the pepper just until combined. Set aside, and stir in the vinegar just before tossing with the pasta (to prevent discoloration).
2. Fill a large pot with about 5 quarts water and the salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the spaghetti until completely submerged. Partially cover and cook 2 minutes, making sure the water doesn't boil over. Stir again to mix up the pasta. Cover, turn off the heat, and let stand until al dente, 8 minutes. (Remove the pot from an electric burner, so it doesn't boil over from residual heat.) Taste to see if the pasta is al dente; if not, allow another 1–2 minutes. Scoop out the pasta to drain.
3. When the pasta is mostly drained, toss with the pesto. If the mixture seems dry, mix in a spoonful of the pasta cooking water. Serve warm or at room temperature, passing remaining ½ cup feta on the side.
When Marvin Gapultos had a craving for adobo but didn’t know how to make it, he decided to learn his family’s recipes. Since then, he has shared the flavors of Filipino food through his Los Angeles-based food truck The Manila Machine, on his blog Burnt Lumpia, and in The Adobo Road Cookbook.