This is a dish for I have to eat now! Toss parsley, walnuts, garlic and parmesan in a mini chopper and boom — pesto. You thin with pasta water, so it’s not the kind of thick, oily pesto that drips from bruschetta. But it is a quick and tasty weekday dinner — very green, very garlicky, really good.
2 cups dry short tube pasta (I like any whole-wheat type made in Italy, or Lidia’s brand)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and well dried
zest of one lemon
.25 cup walnut halves
salt + pepper
hot pepper flakes
parmesan or pecorino
Set pot of salted water to boil. Remove stems from parsley, and mince leaves well.
Pulverize garlic in mini chopper. Now add nuts and pulse several times. Add hot pepper and mix in 1T olive oil. Now grate in cheese and zest, and add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a few more times. Scrape pesto into a medium sauce pan.
Cook pasta for about 6 minutes, until quite al dente. Drain and set aside, saving a few cups of pasta water. Now stir two ladles full of water into pesto, and heat until just starting to bubble. Stir in pasta and cook another minute. Adjust seasonings and cheese to taste.
Serve pasta in soup bowls. Top with a little more freshly grated zest and parmesan or pecorino.