Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pasta with Pungent Parsley Pesto

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Forgive the alliteration. I know it's bad, but my children named this dish years ago while making merry at the dinner table. It was a working mother's secret weapon and I made it a lot when I needed something fast and easy to pair with broiled steak, chicken or, in a pinch, even poached eggs. The making merry part was usually at my expense and the alliteration was the result too many good teachers and overactive, albeit creative, imaginations. This was back in the day when we didn't grill, we broiled and at that time pesto, the basil and pine nut variety, was sweeping the country. My children didn't care for the standard version, so I had to search for and experiment with other types. The one I found for our use is based on a recipe developed Patricia Wells and it is much easier to make than its more familiar cousin. The pungent portion of the alliteration comes from a few anchovies that are added to parsley as it's processed. Unless you let it sit too long you won't know they're in the sauce, though I must admit their flavor can become harsh if it sits for too long before being served. This is one of those rare sauces that I like to make just before I add it to the pasta. Freshly made, it is delicious and the anchovies are barely discernible. This is very easy to make if you have a food processor. There are folks who insist it is more flavorful if made in a mortar and pestle. I leave the method up to you. Here's the recipe.

Pasta with Pungent Parsley Pesto...from the kitchen of One Perfect bite, inspired by Patricia Wells


1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and minced

3 cups loosely packed Italian parsley

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound capellini

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1) Combine garlic, salt, anchovies and parsley in bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times, or until the sauce is well-mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl. While machine is running, add lemon juice and olive oil in a slow stream. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2) Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt and return to a boil. Add capellini and cook according to package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of water, and transfer to a very large bowl. Add 3/4 of pesto to pasta and toss to coat strands evenly. Add water by tablespoons if it seems to dry. Cover bowl for 1 minute. Toss again and add oil to moisten pasta. Transfer pasta to serving bowls, adding a spoonful of reserved pesto to each bowl. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipe:

Pasta Puttanesca - One Perfect Bite

Capellini Capricciosi - One Perfect Bite

Fusilli with Fennel, Sausage and Wine - One Perfect Bite

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