Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto


I love pesto because it is one of those things where you can basically take any herb you like, any nut you like, and a couple other pantry ingredients and whiz it all together and you have your own customized sauce in minutes. Perfect for a meal on the fly with some pasta, pasta salad, pizzas, or just smeared on some crusty bread (yum!!), pesto is a great go-to sauce. Light and flavorful, this pesto is perfect for meals throughout the year. I freeze my extra pesto in ice cube trays and then store them in a ziplock bag. This makes it very simple to take out a smaller portion for future meals. Another note: my four-year-old son loved this dish.


  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • pinch of crushed pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti rigati


In a saute pan over medium heat, toast the nuts for a couple of minutes until slightly toasted and fragrant. In a food processor, pulse toasted pecans, parsley, mint, parmesan, lemon juice, pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once combined, with processor running, slowly add the olive oil until combined. Store pesto in an airtight container or freeze.

Cook spaghetti in salted boiling water according to directions, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. In a large bowl, toss spaghetti with the pesto and add cooking liquid slowly until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with chopped parsley and shaved parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.

Servings: 4

Jenn Knapp

About Jenn Knapp

Jenn is a self-taught home cook who's passionate about using local and seasonal ingredients. She's a stay-at-home mother of two constantly looking for innovative ways to encourage her kids to be healthy and adventurous eaters.