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Super Fast Parsley & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta (Vegetarian)
Fresh and green tasting with a hint of garlic and citrus.
I just made this delicious parsley pesto for dinner last night. Hubby loved it! The cats, not so much -- they're not into veggies. Then again, Squeaky will eat anything.
Parsley and Pumpkin Seeds are wonderfully healthy for you and inexpensive as well.
I've always grown my own garden, and became a pesto making manic because it's so tasty and so easy. One of my gardens had an entire 10-foot row dedicated to basil.
Now that I live down in Florida. it's harder to grow basil in mass quantity, since I only have a 4x8 porch to garden on. And the price of basil is through the roof.
But wait! Who needs basil?
This recipe is adapted from my basic pesto recipe. Parsley is less expensive than most herbs. I got this particular bunch for 50 cents at my grocer.
I stink at math so I won't break it down, but this whole meal was less than $2.50 per portion. (And that's using an excellent imported Romano.)
It makes a fantastic meal any time, but is perfect for spring or a hot summer day. For potlucks, you can make the pesto ahead of time, cover with a drizzle of oil to preserve, and boil the pasta at the last moment. Fabulous vegetarian option for your friends too.
This super simple recipe can be whizzed together in your blender in less time than it takes to boil your pasta.
I prefer flat leaf parsley, as I feel it has a richer (and slightly more licorice) taste. You can use curly if that's all you have available, or you like it better.
Not into garlic? Use less than what I called for here, or none, and it'll still be tasty. Garlic fiend like me? Feel free to add more.
Pumpkin seed is one of my particular favorites. You can substitute fresh squash seed from a pumpkin or butternut squash. Other options are pine nuts, almonds or walnuts, any of which are fabulous.
Other Ways to Use Parsley & Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Not in the mood for pasta?
- Serve this pesto over rice, quinoa or other grains.
- Mix it into mashed potatoes for a delicious change of pace.
- Use it as a topping for grilled steak, chicken or fish.
- Serve with a bowl of corn or pita chips for a healthy snack or a party dip.
Parsley Health Benefits
Parsley is high in vitamin C--higher even than oranges! -- which helps to keep blood vessels elastic, reduces inflammation and can help with some forns of arthritis. as well as increasing iron absorption and helping the immune system.
It's useful for bladder, kidney and urinary tract health helping to clean out infection creating bacteria and detoxify the body. It can also help prevent kidney stones It's diuretic effects can reduce bloating and water retention.
Parsley is high in Hisidine, an amino acid that helps with wound healing.
High in carotenoids, it can be beneficial for eye health.
It's a purifier and cleanser which helps cleans the colon, and reduces bad breath.
Pumpkin Seed Health Benefits
Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, which helps the heart and blood vessels, as well as bone and tooth formation
They're rich in zinc, especially if you use unshelled pumpkin seeds. Zinc gives immume protection, helps cells grow and divide, and promotes eye and skin health. It can help regulate insulin, stabilizes moods and even affects your sense of taste and smell.
Like most raw nuts and seeds, pumpkins seeds are a source of plant based omega-3 fats, which help prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation. They also improve brain function and can strengthen memory and thinking.
Researchers have found that pumpkin seeds are useful for prostate health and may help postmenopausal women reduce hot flashes, joint pain and headaches.
They also contain tryptophan which aids sleep.
- Pasta, any type.
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan, Romano or other hard Italian cheese
- juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
- 1 oz shelled pumpkin seeds (or substitute your favorite nuts)
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Start the pasta water to boiling. When boiled add 1 tb oil & a bit of salt. Then add pasta and cook al dente as per package directions.
- Whiz all other ingredients in a blender to a rough chop.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the parsley pesto mix on top of the pasta.
I have an earlier version of this, the Ninja 2000. It's still almost the same thing, but the newer ones than mine have more power and sometimes more attachments. This brilliant tool whizzes pesto in seconds and even helps me make bread!
Super sharp blades make my old blender look like a stumbling geezer.
© 2014 Lionrhod