A quick and easy pesto made with parsley and walnuts. A delicious and hearty change from traditional basil pesto. Perfect for the winter months.
400gcappellini or spaghettini (or favorite pasta variety), reserving 1/4 cup pasta-cooking water (60 ml)
1cupwalnuts or pecans, lightly toasted (100 g)
1/3cupextra-virgin olive oil(80 ml)
3small bunches flat-leaf parsley
1/3cupvegetable broth(80 ml)
1tablespoondry bread crumbs
1teaspoonfinely grated lemon zest(from an organic lemon)
1tablespoonfreshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly grated parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper,to taste
Fill a large pot of water with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to packet instructions, until al dente.
Meanwhile, in food processor (or using a immersion blender), blend the walnuts, olive oil, parsley, broth, garlic, salt, bread crumbs, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.
Reserve 1/4 cup pasta-cooking water (60 ml), then drain pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the walnut mixture, toss and add pasta water one tablespoon a time until the sauce reaches the desired consistency; tossing until well combined.
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan, salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Be sure to reserve some of the pasta-cooking water. This will help ensure that there is enough sauce to go along with your noodles. The starch in the water gives your sauce extra body and help the sauce cling to the noodles. Make sure your noodles are al dente as well, as it will allow the pasta to absorb some of the sauce.
Zesting a lemon: Avoid the white pith separating the colorful zest and the fruit. It's bitter and doesn't add the brightness like the peel.
I find this parsley walnut pesto quite filling so prefer to cook little less pasta and include a green salad on the side. For big eaters, feel free to use 500 g pasta or serve a salad and some bread or on the side.