Parsley pesto is made almost the same way as the classic basil pesto – whirled around in the food processor with some olive oil and a few other ingredients – but because parsley has a different, sharper taste than basil, the supporting ingredients are a little softer. I like to make mine with walnuts and Parmesan cheese. I’ve seen other folks use almonds instead of walnuts, and if you like a spicier pesto by all means use toss in a couple of cloves of garlic. This is an easy and flexible recipe…just the way a summer recipe should be!
Make sure you save some of the pasta water before you drain the pasta, and when you are tossing the hot pasta with the pesto add a little bit of the pasta water to make a light sauce. I like to sprinkle a few pieces of chopped parsley on top just to make things pretty, and then I start twirling. Fresh and green and summery and delicious.
Don’t worry basil, I’ll be picking you soon…but you might need to give the parsley equal time this summer, pesto-wise…
- 8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
- 4 cups fresh parsley (stems and all)
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Scoop out a cup of pasta water before you drain it.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto: process the parsley and walnuts until well chopped. Add the cheese and pulse a few times. Now pour the oil through the feeder tube while the processor is running until the pesto is smooth.
- Toss the hot pasta with the pesto, adding the pesto in increments until you have the amount you like on your pasta (you may have some leftover, which is a wonderful thing!). Add a little pasta water until the pasta has a light sauce.
- Serve garnished with a little chopped parsley and fresh ground pepper.