Here's proof that recipes in cooking magazines like Bon Appétit are not always complicated. This Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto, which graces the cover of the magazine's June 2013 issue, couldn't be more simple. And it's quite delicious too.
|Italian or flat-leaf parsley|
If you're in the habit of buying pesto at the store, here's a good reason to stop. Making pesto is simple and it's much tastier with fresh ingredients. Rather than the traditional basil, Alison Roman uses flat-leaf (a.k.a. "Italian") parsley. She also uses roasted almonds instead of pine nuts. Since the price of pine nuts seems higher lately, I find this a good substitute (I've also used walnuts). The resulting pesto is a little earthier than if made with basil, but still very tasty. For the best flavor, be sure to select the freshest parsley you can find; the leaves should be dark green and somewhat firm.
Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto
Adapted from Bon Appétit
1 lb. dried spaghetti
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted almonds (I used blanched almond slivers that I pan-roasted on medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned)
4 cups (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions for "al dente." Drain noodles, reserving 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
2. Pulse almonds in a food processor until smooth. Add parsley and chives and pulse until well chopped. With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil until very smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the cheese, fresh ground black pepper and salt, to taste.
3. Toss the cooked pasta in a large bowl with the pesto, adding pasta cooking water by the 1/4 cup until the mixture is saucy (I used about a cup and a half). Season to taste with salt and pepper.