Parsley Pesto Pasta is the dinner you need for weeknights! This quick and easy recipe is full of flavour with some parmesan for cheesy deliciousness!
Use the Parsley Walnut Pesto recipe to get you started for this delightful combo!
Why you will love this recipe
This recipe is comfort food on a plate.
Al dente cooked pasta, zesty parsley pesto, cheesy parm, crunchy walnuts and a fork, is all you need for this deliverance of yum!
You can use your favorite pasta, such as penne, spaghetti, rigatoni, fettucine, macaroni, tagliatelle or pappardelle.
Can I use parsley instead of basil in pesto?
You can substitute parsley where you would otherwise use basil in pesto recipes for a unique flavor combination.
Parsley is an economical herb (especially if you grow it) and provides a great textural alternative to basil, rocket (arugula) or spinach.
With its curly leafy appearance, it is commonly served as a garnish on pasta.
Combined with a few simple ingredients such as garlic, nuts, olive oil and cheese, it becomes pesto which can be used in a variety of ways.
What can I put pesto on?
Pesto is very versatile ingredient, here are some ideas on what to put it on:
- pizza as a sauce
- salad as a dressing
- spread on sandwiches
- fish, chicken, pork or lamb
If you have never tried the simple combination of pesto on flatbread grilled to perfection, give it a go for ultra deliciousness!
The ingredients you need are shown in the photo below, they are all simple and can be found at the local shop (you might already have some of them!)
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- dried pasta (you can use your favorite)
- parsley pesto
- parmesan cheese
- cracked pepper
This recipe is so simple that it only needs to 2 basic ingredients, ie parsley pesto and dried pasta.
But we add all of the fun stuff like parmesan cheese, lemon, crushed walnuts, parsley and a little cracked pepper to take this dish to the highest level!
How to make Parsley Pesto Pasta
To make the recipe, we start by cooking our pasta, then simply dolloping the pesto into the mix.
If you like a thin sauce on your pasta, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and stir that through also.
It only takes minutes at a medium heat to combine the cooked pasta and pesto.
Once that is done, squeeze the lemon over the pasta, use your fingers to crush some walnuts and sprinkle them around, spread some parmesan on top, a little parsley for garnish and cracked pepper to top it all off.
As you can see, it is pretty AMAZING!
Pesto Parsley Pasta quick info:
About the recipe:
- You need 1 cup of pesto for 4 servings of pasta
- Use your favorite pasta (I am using orecchiette)
- This is a vegetarian recipe
- Use a fresh lemon for this one!
- The nuts, parmesan, pepper and parsley are optional but elevate the dish, so do try the combo all together!
FAQs about the recipe
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions
- You can replace homemade pesto with a store bought version
- You can add cooked chicken or bacon for more protein
- It takes about 15 mins from start to finish
If you are new to pesto, have a read of my How to Make Pesto guide. It covers all the tips and tricks you need to know!
Your quick questions answered:
- This is a quick, easy to bring together recipe!
- This recipe uses only 7 ingredients
- The pasta water is optional, use if you want a thinner sauce
- You can freeze this recipe for easy weeknight meals
This is what I have learnt that will help you master the recipe from the 1st time and every following time:
- Dollop the pesto on and don't hold back!
- Cook the pasta till al dente for that extra little bite to it!
- Switch it up and use spaghetti or penne on different nights of the week
- Keep it simple for Meatless Mondays
If pasta is your thing, try one of the following recipes:
Its a parsley pesto pasta party and you only need BYO your fork!
Parsley Pesto Pasta
- 500 grams dried pasta
- 1 cup parsley pesto
- ½ cup reserved pasta water optional
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ lemon
- ¼ cup walnuts optional, to garnish
- cracked pepper optional, to garnish
- parsley optional, to garnish
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and reserve ½ cup of pasta water (optional)
- Add cooked pasta to fry pan, turn to a medium heat, dollop in parsley pesto and stir till combined. For a thinner sauce, pour in reserved pasta water and continue to stir till consistently combined
- Squeeze lemon half over pasta and stir to mix through
- Serve with parmesan cheese, cracked pepper and chopped parsley