With many still under lockdown in Italy, home gardens have become increasingly more important. The Parsley Pine Nut Pecan Pesto sauce for our pasta started right in our Umbrian garden, where we have a generous bunch of parsley. As it was too early for basil abundance, I decided to use parsley for a pesto with just a few other ingredients we had on hand: spaghetti, a lemon, garlic, our olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and pecans. I encourage you to try this easy, delicious recipe!
First wash the parsley and discard the stems. Roughly translated as “pounded,” “beaten” or “crushed,” il pesto was traditionally made by crushing the herbs, garlic and other ingredients with a mortar and pestle. However, a food processor will do the trick, too! Add the parsley, juice of 1 lemon, 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on your taste), olive oil (q.b.), and a handful of pecans to a food processor. Grind the ingredients together. Add a generous handful of Parmesan cheese to the pesto mix, add salt and pepper (q.b.). On the side, crush a handful of pecans to be used for a topping. Cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain and save some brodo della pasta (pasta water). Mix the pesto sauce with the spaghetti adding some of the saved pasta water to make the sauce a little creamier. Place spaghetti con pesto in serving dishes and sprinkle crushed pecans on top. Buon appetito!