The best -savoury- use for hazelnut is pesto
. By far. Unlike walnuts and pine nuts, they have a proper taste. And character. You may even leave the garlic out. Pecorino cheese has the right sharpness. Parmigiana cheese often results just a trifle too sweet.It is important to use good olive oil
. Especially because pesto is not 'cooked'. So get your best oil out.A substantial part of the creaminess derives from the water your pasta boiled in. Adding milk or cream tends to break the delicate equilibrium.Basil and pesto often go together. In this recipe instead it tends to cover the hazelnut. You may though use fresh basil to give for the plating.