Parsley Almond Pesto

Around this time of year, I have much more fresh parsley growing in my backyard garden then I know what to do with. I love the flavor of parsley and decided to try to create a parsley pesto to make the most of that great taste. And to bring the cost down a bit while increasing the nutritional value of the pesto, almonds are replacing the pine nuts.

This pesto pasta can be personalized however you like. I used angel hair, but any pasta shape will do. You can also add veggies and proteins (I used red pepper and chicken) and serve it hot or cold (just pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before serving). The recipe doesn't call for Parmesan cheese (making it friendly to all your lactose-intolerant friends!), but a sprinkling of cheese over top is a delicious touch. Make it your own and enjoy!

Parsley Almond Pesto Pasta

  • 3/4 to 1 lb. pasta
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups flat leaf Italian parsley (try to remove as many of the thicker stems as possible)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup blanches almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, drop garlic and parsley into food processor with a dash of salt. Puree to achieve a relatively fine chop. Then continue to puree while gradually streaming in olive oil.

3. Add the lemon juice and give a quick pulse.
4. Add the almonds and pulse until finely ground and everything is well-incorporated.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Drain pasta, reserving at least 1/2 cup pasta water.
6. Combine pasta and pesto sauce. Add pasta water gradually to thin sauce out, if needed or desired.

Great served hot or cold or with any add-ins you like! I went for some chopped red pepper, shredded Parmesan cheese, and chicken breast, all of which I added after combining the pesto and pasta. Enjoy!

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