Lots of calories no, something healthy yes. I had to think about this for a minute, well more like an hour or two, before I came up with something that would not be a weeks worth of calories in one meal.
Pesto is always a good idea as a pasta dressing and would certainly be healthier than carbonara. But I didn't have fresh basil, however, I always have fresh parsley. I also had walnuts, they're healthy, and added olives for flavor. In the food processor it goes with a little olive oil and a simple, flavorful pasta sauce is ready.
I made this recipe using Dreamfields spaghetti. I don't usually mention brand names since we all like to use our favorite brands and promoting a specific product is not what I do. But I did want to mention this pasta because I have used it a few times and we all (my family) enjoyed it. If you haven't heard about it check it out, it may be something you will want to try. Just sayin'.
You can substitute any style dried pasta for this dish, or you can use fresh pasta if that is your preference. Another flexible recipe here!, serves 4-5.
Spaghetti With Parsley, Black Olive & Walnut Pesto
(adapted from a recipe on Chow.com)
- 1 large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and stems removed
- 1/2 cup walnuts toasted
- 6-8 pitted black olives cut in quarters (use kalamata or sicilian olives for more flavor)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional), and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 lb. spaghetti cook according to package directions
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste (approx. 1/4 cup)
- Boil the water for the pasta and cook according to package directions.
- While pasta water is heating up, place the parsley, walnuts, olives, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are coarsley chopped.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn on the machine and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Check the pasta for doneness and be sure to reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. (Before you drain the pasta use a ladle to remove the water and set aside in a cup. Drain the pasta and then immediately place it back into the warm pot.
- Stir in the pesto and blend well into the pasta. Add in the reserved pasta water if the pesto is too dry.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and place into serving bowl. Toss with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional).
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