In season: Fresh pasta with walnut and parsley pesto

Cooking with the seasons is all about making the most of what is available; walnuts with their caramel notes combined with fresh, clean tasting parsley is a fantastic combination drizzled over pasta.


Photo by Craig Baxter.
Photo by Craig Baxter.
Fresh pasta with walnut and parsley pesto
Serves 4


200g spaghetti

For the pesto

100g walnuts, fresh
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
100g hard tasty cheese - parmesan or pecorino, grated
50g flat-leaf parsley leaves
About 150ml good olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Firstly, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil.

To make the pesto, place the walnuts, cheese, garlic and parsley leaves into a food processor and pulse to blend. With the food processor on, drizzle in the oil and juice of lemon, season lightly with salt and pepper and blend for a minute to emulsify, taste once more and set aside until ready.

Cook the spaghetti as directed or until al dente (tender to the bite), drain the pasta reserving cup of liquid. Spoon over half the pesto and toss to combine; add 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking water to loosen up the pesto and help give the sauce a lovely gloss. If you think you need more pesto then by all means add it until you are happy with the flavour.

Check for seasoning, and serve with extra cheese.


• Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will demonstrate this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.


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