Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto

Cover recipe- Bon Appetit, Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto: June 2013

Cover recipe- Bon Appetit, Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto: June 2013

In this full-blooded Italian girl’s mind, pesto is summer. Even in the coldest of cold winter nights, one bite of a spaghetti strand slicked with it’s herbaceous flavor makes me feel like I’m sitting poolside, a margarita by my side, carefree and sun-kissed. To date I’ve tried it in many incarnations – I’ve switched up the pricey pine nut for the more affordable pistachios, walnuts, almonds and pecans; left out the cheese all-together; and served it over potatoes instead of pasta – but the one constant has always been the basil. It’s what makes pesto pesto, after all. And dispensable it most certainly is not.

The cover of the June 2013 issue of Bon Appetit boasted a recipe for spaghetti with parsley pesto with all the bright flavors of it’s basil counterpart, but more affordable, sturdier (in that it’s not limited to a single season), and greener. With declarations that bold I knew I had to give it a try. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

spaghetti with parsley pesto

 

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Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients:

1 pound spaghetti
Kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted almonds
4 cups (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
2. Meanwhile, pulse almonds in a food processor until smooth. Add parsley, chives, oil, and Parmesan; process until smooth. Season pesto with salt and pepper.
3. Toss pasta and pesto in a large bowl, adding pasta cooking liquid by 1/4-cupfuls until saucy. Season with salt and pepper.

Tips:

*Almost any nut can be substituted for the almonds so feel free to use what you have on hand!

*To make ahead, cover the surface directly after cooking and chilled. Can be made up to 5 days ahead of time.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/6 recipe
Calories per serving: 650
Fat per serving: 39g
Saturated Fat per serving: 7g
Sugar per serving: 4
Sodium per serving: 260mg
Fiber per serving: 4g
Protein per serving: 17g
Cholesterol per serving: 10mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 59g

Source:

Bon Appetit

The results:

While this pesto wasn’t exactly the green sauce that I know and love, I really enjoyed that it tasted more “herby” than traditional pesto. The lemony flavor of the parsley really shone through, so if you’re not a fan of food that actually tastes “green” (as my boyfriend isn’t) then I would steer clear of this. I, however, am a fan and was perfectly happy to keep the leftovers all to myself. I doubt that this will ever replace classic pesto in my heart (or taste buds) but it’s definitely a great alternative if you’re looking for something a bit different to infuse into your summer.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Pesto is such a huge summer favorite, so I can definitely see why this made the cover. Everyone is looking for that “next best twist” on it so they can stand out when they serve it at their next summer fiesta. Personally, I thought it delivered on flavor and definitely think it deserved the summer spotlight.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


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11 Responses to “Pasta al Pomodoro”

  1. 1

    Jenny Flake — May 4, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    Love pasta and this one looks great!! Glad it stood up to the test! :)

  2. 2

    Cookin' Canuck — May 4, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    My reaction was the same when I saw the cover – boring. However, I also know that sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. You’ve inspired me to try this, Lori.

  3. 3

    Amanda — May 4, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    LOVE all these pasta tips, thanks for sharing them here, Lori! Bookmarking this :)

  4. 4

    Maria — May 4, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Great pasta post! Can’t wait to try it!

  5. 5

    Tracey — May 4, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try this one since my issue of BA arrived. Glad to hear it exceeded expectations!

  6. 6

    Tracy — May 5, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds delicious!

  7. 7

    mary (sisters running the kitchen) — May 5, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    i am so glad that you featured this! i have this magazine and have yet to try out this recipe. looks so good though. sometimes the most simple dishes are the best.

  8. 8

    Mrs. L — May 6, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    While it sounds like the dish is one to make, I still have a little trouble with it being on the cover. Covers to me are ideas I must get in the kitchen ‘right now’ to make, they are there to make me pick up the magazine to buy (I subscribe by the way). If it wasn’t for several bloggers like you making it and saying it was good, I’d probably pass it right by!

  9. 9

    Erin R — May 8, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    I made this dish for my fiance’s and my dinner last night. It was FABULOUS! Knowing that neither my fiance’s nor my knife cuts on our garlic and onion would ever be close to tiny enough for them to blend in with the texture of the pureed tomato, after we’d added the red pepper flakes and let it simmer for a smidge, we put the oil, garlic, onion portion in the food processor so it would puree too.
    Then, we just put that back in the pan with the tomato and it was smooth and wonderful.
    The sauce was waaaay better than any sauces we buy at the store, and since we just had to buy the can of tomatoes, it was super cheap too ($1.50).
    I truly feel that this is a restaurant-quality dinner.
    (also, we made this with linguini noodles, since that’s what we had, and I felt they held the sauce really well)

    I’m not sure if the photos capture the vibrant orange-red of the sauce, but this is totally a cover quality recipe.

  10. 10

    Nick — May 17, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    The dish looks delish! Reading through the 10 point guide, 2 of the points stand out to me. #3 You’re not using nearly enough salt and #4 Don’t dump the pasta water. Those are 2 things I have not been doing with my pasta and I really think they’ll make a big difference. I am going to try them today when I make spaghetti with clam sauce.

  11. 11

    Sue — June 18, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! I’ve made it three times now and I simply love it. Mine doesn’t turn out quite as smooth as it should, because chopping onions kills me so I tend to leave them a little chunkier than they should be for this particular recipe, but this is now my favorite pasta sauce.

    And while I’m not vegetarian, I absolutely love that I can cook something so delicious and satisfying that has no meat in it!!!!

    LOVE this blog!

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