Parsley & Pistachio Pesto

There was one summer that I was obsessed with pesto. It started with a traditional pesto of basil and pine nuts and further along in the summer, after putting basil pesto in about everything, I progressed to a parsley and pistachio pesto and I rarely looked back to basil pesto that year. I experimented and found that I like my parsley and pistachio pesto without cheese but when it’s combined with pasta, I like some freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano on top, so I always make the batch without cheese. This is great on its’ own to dip bread in, just top with a little extra olive oil; perfect for pasta, just toss in a little pasta water and this is also nice served with poached chicken and fish, served cold. And if you are a garlic lover, you can always add more. Enjoy!

  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly about 3 cups of loosely packed leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and combine well. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Makes about a 3/4 cup or so. (I did a little adjusting.) ;) This recipe is enough for a pound of pasta.

Spaghetti with Arugula & Potato Pesto

Arugula, one of my favorite bitter greens. I love simple arugula salads with sweet tomatoes, a few oil cured olives, a little ricotta cheese, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh ground pepper. I even like it with my turkey burger. But there are times that arugulas’ strong bite can be overwhelming and I want a more of a mellowed out arugula flavor and that’s where this arugula and potato ”pesto” comes in. This is great to use up any arugula that you may have lingering in that rectangular plastic container. The potato takes the arugulas’ edge off and gives the pasta a nice creaminess, without heavy cream. This is a quick meal to make on a hurried night. This makes 3 servings.

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti cooked al dente
  • 1 medium size potato, peeled, quartered and cooked until fork tender
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby arugula, trimmed of stems
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon raw walnuts plus more for garnish
  • 1 heaping tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt

In a deep bowl, combine the arugula, parsley, garlic, walnuts, cheese and olive oil with a hand blender. Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste. Add more garlic if you like. Once your potato is cooked though, break it up with a fork until the potato is about pea size. I let it cool a little before I broke it up. Lightly toss the spaghetti, pesto and potato together until well combined. The potato, once tossed with the spaghetti and pesto will break down a little. I didn’t toss it too much because I kinda enjoy the little bits of potato swirled around with the spaghetti especially when combined with the walnuts pieces and grated cheese. Enjoy!

Ditalini & Dandelion Greens Soup

Cooler, rainy weather has arrived! And that calls for soup! For anyone that isn’t familiar with dandelion greens, they are a super bitter green that you can toss into salads combined with a milder one like bibb lettuce. Or you could saute them with a little olive oil and butter for a simple way to dress them and really enjoy the green for what it is. If you aren’t a fan of bitter greens you can still make this soup using spinach. And for a leaner version instead of the pork sausage, you can use chicken or turkey sausage. For a veggie version, you can use veggie broth and throw in some cooked beans and wild rice. Great way to use the leftover pesto from Monday’s recipe (July 16th post). This serves 4. Soup tastes great warm! Enjoy!

  • 1 bunch of dandelion greens, about 4 cups tightly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta, cooked
  • 1 pound bulk Italian pork sausage
  • 32 oz. chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried mushrooms. I used champignon but any kind will do, if large just chop them up a little bit.
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, minced
  • 4 eggs, cooked over easy
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Trim the tougher stems of the greens and roughly chop them, into small pieces. In a dutch oven, saute the sausage, stirring it and breaking it up often. Once the sausage is cooked through, stir in the garlic and the mushrooms. Saute for about five minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. This soup is low in broth so you can always add more. Once it boils toss in the dandelion greens and the sun dried tomatoes. Cook on low heat for ten minutes. Toss in the pasta and give your soup a good stir. Adjust the seasonings if needed. If I’m not using my own chicken broth and using store-bought I like to get low sodium because you can always add more salt but you can’t take it away. Once your soup is done, you can make your eggs in the butter. Ladle your soup into bowls, top each bowl with an egg and you can top with pesto or leave your pesto in a bowl to pass around. The soup is so good once your break the yolk, it thickens the soup beautifully and adds such great flavor.