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Pasta with Parsley Pesto

This pesto is divine! I love it tossed with pasta, drizzled over an avocado, slathered on a sandwich – well, just about anywhere. For pasta I choose a thin strand – spaghetti or angel hair. This is terrific as a starter or side dish. To make a more substantial meal you could add some grilled shrimp.
Servings: 4


For the pesto

  • 3 to 5 plump fresh garlic cloves to taste, degermed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 6 flat anchovy fillets drained and chopped
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound dried pasta such as spaghetti or angel hair
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • First, make the pesto. Through the tube of a food processor, with motor running, drop in the garlic cloves and process until they’re minced. Then add salt and anchovies and pulse until minced. Add the parsley and pulse 2 or 3 times until it’s starting to be saucy. Again through the tube and with the machine running, add the lemon juice followed by the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Season with salt and pepper if you like.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir so it doesn’t stick. Cook until the pasta is al dente, according to the package directions.
  • Drain the pasta thoroughly and transfer it to a warm serving bowl. Add about ¾ of the sauce to the pesto and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with a pot lid for about one minute, this will allow the pasta to absorb the pesto. Toss again and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Garnish each serving with a dollop of the reserved pesto and a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. (Be careful of adding too much cheese as it will overwhelm the brightness of the pesto.)


Adapted from from Patricia Wells