The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto Recipe

Kerry Saretsky

There are funky pestos out there, pestos where basil isn't the star. Arugula pesto. Spinach pesto. I've even made a tarragon pesto. But I've never seen a pesto that has put parsley at center stage, and really celebrated what parsley's all about: grassy light freshness.

This pesto is made simply from parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, olive oil, and garlic--more garlic than usual because parsley can really take the flavor. Toss that with hot spaghetti, and nestle it down as a side next to some charred and grilled sliced steak. It's different and light and summery and fresh. Nobody puts parsley in the corner!

Recipe Details

The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 15 mins
Serves 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 3-ounce bunches of flat leaf parsley
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, and reserve a cup of pasta water.

  2. Blast the garlic in the food processor until it’s smashed. Add the parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whiz until it forms a thick paste.

  3. Toss the pasta with the pesto, and add reserved pasta water as needed. Serve right away. You can also spoon the pesto over grilled steak.

Special equipment

Food processor