Linguine with Parsley Pesto and Toasted Walnuts

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

We’ve substituted chicken broth for some of the olive oil traditionally (and copiously) used in making pesto. This is a parsley and walnut variation on the Genovese original, which is made with fresh basil.


  • 2 cups (packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup (packed) basil leaves
  • ¾ cup Chicken Broth or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons broken walnuts, toasted until fragrant
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving (optional)


    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    2. Combine the parsley, basil, broth, ¼ cup of the toasted walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. If made in advance, keep at room temperature.
    3. Add salt to the water and cook pasta until al dente. When the pasta is almost finished, ladle out about cup of the pasta cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the pasta.
    4. Combine the drained pasta, the parsley pesto, and the reserved pasta cooking liquid in a large serving bowl. Toss to coat. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts and serve, sprinkled with a little more grated cheese, if you like.