I wanted to make a spaghetti dish that was low in calories and high in flavor.
Lots of calories no, something healthy yes.
I had to think about this for a minute, well more like an hour or two, before I came up with something that would not be a weeks worth of calories in one meal.
Pesto is always a good idea as a pasta dressing and would certainly be healthy but I didn’t have fresh basil. However, I always have fresh parsley. I did have walnuts, they’re healthy, and I added olives for flavor.
I made this recipe using Dreamfields spaghetti. I don’t usually mention brand names since we all like to use our favorite brands, but I did want to mention this pasta because I have used it a few times and we all (my family) enjoyed it.
If you haven’t heard about it check it out, it may be something you will want to try. Just sayin’.
You can substitute any style dried pasta for this dish, or you can use fresh pasta if that is your preference. Another flexible recipe here!, serves 4-5.
- 1 large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and stems removed
- ½ cup walnuts toasted
- 6-8 pitted black olives cut in quarters (use kalamata or sicilian olives for more flavor)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional), and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 lb. spaghetti cooked according to package directions
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste (approx. ¼ cup)
- Boil the water for the pasta and cook according to package directions.
- While pasta water is heating up, place the parsley, walnuts, olives, and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are coarsely chopped.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn on the machine and slowly drizzle in the olive oil
- Check the pasta to see if it's al dente, and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
- Drain the pasta and then immediately place it back into the warm pot.
- Stir in the pesto and blend well into the pasta. Add in the reserved pasta water if the pesto is too dry.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and place into serving bowl.
- Toss with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional).
If you have all these ingredients in your pantry, you can put this dish together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Perfect when you get home late and everyone is looking famished. Serve with a salad and garlic bread.
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