When you think pesto, you usually think basil, right? Me too….until Tuesday. I made artichoke pesto that instructed me to use parsley as the main herb.
We have already established the fact that I am a bit rebellious but that I also try to follow instructions for fear of retribution, so this no basil thing presented an interesting conundrum for me (not that using parsley instead of basil is a particularly daring maneuver, but you get my point). So, while in the Co-op buying the ingredients, I briefly considered defying Giada and substituting basil…the more traditional pesto ingredient. I had both bunches in my hand….
So glad, because as I worked my food processor magic (the best invention ever), the most fragrant and beautiful pale green sauce emerged. Basil, an intense herb, would have suppressed the other flavors, so something a little more subtle, like parsley, really does work better with the blend of artichokes, walnuts, lemon and garlic the recipe called for. I tossed with fresh, but store bought, fettuccine.... simple and delicious. This would also be lovely made with mint and served with roasted lamb or pork….yum.
Parsley Artichoke Pesto
1 8 oz package of frozen artichoke hearts (I used a 13 oz can)
1 cup of flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped walnuts
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove (I added 3)
½ teaspoon each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor combine the artichokes, parsley, walnuts, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Chop fine, stopping a few times to scrape the sides.
With the processor going, drizzle in the olive oil.
Transfer the pesto mixture to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the hot pasta, using some of the pasta water to adjust the consistency…I had to use about ¾ cup.
BTW… it was my turn to cook.
We also had a fresh green, pear and gorgonzola salad and leftover Torte della Nonna for dessert.
I also served tea in my most recent pottery project..next up...a casserole dish (which should take the rest of the semester - I'm just saying).