A quick and easy to prepare pasta with parsley black olive walnut pesto pasta sauce is vegetarian and a meatless option for dinner any day of the week.
PARSLEY, BLACK OLIVE WALNUT PESTO PASTA SAUCE
Who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of pasta for dinner? How about a parsley, black olive, walnut pesto pasta sauce that has a ‘pinch of healthy’ to top that bowl of pasta. Now that sounds like a delicious dinner any day.
The flexibility of pasta can make dinner prep so much easier if you think outside the box. When we are in the midst of a hectic season (which is most of the year) making pasta for dinner can save the day. Add a basic and easy pesto sauce to the pasta and you have a quick and easy meal for any day.
Pesto is traditionally made with fresh basil and pine nuts. I didn’t have basil so I substituted fresh parsley and substituted walnuts for the pine nuts. Then I added in the usual pesto ingredients of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and grated Italian cheese. You can also substitute fresh spinach for the basil or parsley if you wish. So simple!
“How can a sauce made with olive oil and cheese be healthy?” you say. Consider that olive oil is a good for you fat. Parsley is a source of many nutrients, essential oils, antioxidants, Vitamin C, and often noted as a superfood. I would say this pesto might be just a little more than a ‘pinch of healthy’.
You can make a this budget friendly parsley, black olive, walnut pesto pasta sauce with parsley which is available in every market any time of the year, unlike basil. Replace the pine nuts which are a bit pricey and have a short shelf life with walnuts or almonds. Making the change in ingredients does not take away from the ‘pinch of healthy’.
Because of the flexibility of pesto you can also make it nut free by eliminating any nuts whatsoever in your pesto. That’s a good thing for those with nut allergies.
You can also add additional ingredients such as roasted peppers, olives, lemon, or red pepper. Make substitutions and add-ins based on the ingredients that you know your family will enjoy. This recipe will then become your specialty of the house pesto.
Add all ingredients to a food processor, with a little olive oil and a simple pasta sauce is ready.
Parsley Black Olive Walnut Pesto Pasta Sauce
Parsley Black Olive Walnut Pesto Pasta Sauce, a quick and easy dinner that is vegetarian. Easy dinner on hectic days, for meatless Mondays and Fridays in Lent.
- 1 large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and stems removed
- 1/2 cup walnuts toasted (optional)
- 6-8 pitted black olives cut in quarters - use kalamata or sicilian olives for more flavor (optional)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional), and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 lb. spaghetti cooked according to package directions
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste (approx. 1/4 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.
You can also substitute fresh made pasta for boxed pasta if you wish.
How easy it is to prepare this parsley, black olive, walnut pesto pasta sauce dinner on a busy day. The prep for this dinner is done while the pasta water boils and pasta cooks. Usually about 12 minutes for a large pot of water to boil and 10-12 minutes for the pasta to cook. Dinner is served in less than 30 minutes.