I have an aunt who makes the most incredible pasta- ever. It wasn't so much about the pasta in itself but rather the flavour combination she used. Enjoying dishes with a Ragu alla Bolognese, Marinara or Carbonara sauce were staples that I relished on countless times and did not evoke any sense of surprise. They were like, let's say, a classic red Ferrari But one day, as a child, my aunt invited us over for a casual dinner and on the table was sitting a large generous dish of pasta with parsley. Tons of fresh chopped parsley that she often topped off with crumbled feta or diced halloumi cheese. Seeing all that parsley in a pasta dish was, at the time, something new for me. I was curious, and within my first bite my tastebuds were simply blown away. The clean crisp bright taste of parsley was stupendous. It was like a green Ferrari, unexpected and different. I enjoyed it tremendously that whenever she'd have us for dinner, I'd beg for her to make it again.
Years later, I'd cook it on my own replicating her exact recipe. I especially loved making it on a Sunday evening. It was a quick, comforting and easy recipe and the perfect way to end a weekend. Today, I've tried variations around a parsley base and as much as I appreciate my aunt's dish, I also very much enjoy my own twist which marries parsley, walnuts and Parmesan- a trio that works so well I'd like to think they were made in heaven. And that, my dear readers, is the dish I am sharing with you today. Enjoy it, but once done, make sure to check the mirror before smiling- there might be some green bits that sneaked into between your teeth!
Parsley & Pasta. A pleasantly surprising association.
Little trick: place a wooden utensil over a boiling pot of water to avoid any spillage. It really works!
Here, I used a rolling pin for instance.
Chop away- and the more you have, the better!
I also like to throw in a bit of dried geranium leaves. It adds a somewhat unique lemony taste.
Recipe for Spaghetti with Parsley, Walnuts & Parmesan
Note: ingredients are not specified. I cook this by eyeballing quantities.
A large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
Prepare the spaghetti. The total cooking time should be 1 minute less then indicated on the packaging.
Drain, rinse and set aside.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Throw in the spaghetti, garlic, salt and pepper and toss it all together for a few minutes on medium heat. In the last minutes, add the parsley and walnuts on a lower heat. Finally, add a dash of Parmesan. Mix everything gently.
Serve on dishes and add additional shredded Parmesan if desired.