During the last couple of months, my home grown parsley grew wild and unattended (oops). It almost looked like a small tree with a very thick and stern trunk/stem. Having an exorbitant amount of parsley I searched for recipes that used parsley in excess, which was really why I was growing parsley in the first place but never gotten around to cooking anything with it. Luckily, I found this seemingly quick and easy fresh vegetarian pasta recipe from Foodandwine.com which looked fantastic and turned out quite well too if I do say so myself. Check it out below!
Fettuccine with Walnut-Parsley Pesto
Total Time: 30 mins
3/4 cup walnut halves (3 ounces)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings for garnish
1/2 pound fettuccine (225 g)
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the walnuts in a pie plate for 7 minutes, or until golden; let cool. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of walnuts and transfer to a bowl; add the 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and half of the grated Parmesan.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
3. In a mini food processor, pulse the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts with the 1/4 cup of parsley leaves and the garlic until finely chopped. Add the remaining grated Parmesan cheese and the olive oil and process to a coarse purée. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
4. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the vegetable stock and butter and simmer until the liquid is nearly absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the pesto and toss until combined. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, garnish with the walnut, parsley and Parmesan topping and Parmesan shavings and serve.
My only downfall with this dish was my failure of pouring in all the dry fettuccine into boiling water all at once. This resulted in clumping of the noodles and uneven cooking as some became thick strands (undercooked) and others cooked past al dente.
Flavour wise, it was pretty tasty for a dish that has minimal ingredients, the parsley pesto was extremely flavourful and a bit of a zing. As this dish has no meat, I’d actually prefer more walnuts to be added (maybe 1 cup) instead as I also added one whole bag full of fettuccine (probably too much actually). Other than that, I found this recipe to be one I’d be keen to try again.