Our basil has seen better days and is getting ready to say farewell until next year. But the parsley is having its glory days, looking more lush and vibrant than ever before.
Oh that little plant. Last winter, I even harvested it under a thick cover of snow. You have got to love a tough herb like that. And I’ll tell you a secret, I love parsley pesto better than basil pesto. Shh, don’t tell.
Pesto on any pasta is very good, there’s no doubt about that. But I’ll fill you in on another secret. Pesto on thin delicate chewy strands of angel hair pasta, exists on a whole other level. The level of deliciousness that makes me sing triumphant operas in my head while I eat.
So today’s recipe is just this: simple as can be angel hair pasta smothered in parsley almond pesto and grilled squash and parmesan. I use buttercup squash, but feel free to use your squash of choice.
And psst, one more thing: parsley contains three times the Vitamin C as oranges and twice as much iron as spinach. It’s packed with all kinds of other nutrients and in this pesto, you’ll be eating it raw, the best way to unleash its powers! Bon appétit.
Parsley Almond Pesto Pasta with Roasted Squash
- For the Parsley Almond Pesto:
- 1 large bunch of parsley (4 cups roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup raw whole almonds
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- Juice of half a small lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 to 2 small cloves of garlic (optional)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste (between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
- For the Pasta:
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
- 1 small buttercup squash (or your favorite squash)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Roughly chop the parsley, almonds, and garlic. Place them and all the other pesto ingredients (except olive oil) in the food processor. Pulse a few times until chopped finely. Add the olive oil slowly while processing. Continue to process until the pesto has reached the consistency you like. (I like mine a bit on the chunky side).
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut it thinly into 1/4 inch slices. Toss the slices with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Add a few sprinkles of salt if you wish. Roast at 350F for 10 minutes, then flip the slices over and roast for another 5 minutes or until sufficiently tender.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to instructions on the package. Be careful, angel hair pasta only takes about 2 to 3 minutes to cook. Drain the pasta and spoon the pesto onto the pasta, tossing well. Place the roasted squash on top of the pasta and garnish with a few roughly chopped almonds and a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped.
- Refrigerate any unused pesto. The parsley almond pesto will keep at least one week in the fridge.
Yield: 4 servings
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. Her web series was nominated for a 2014 James Beard Award. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.