30-Minute Dinner/ pasta/ vegetarian dinner

Parsley Pesto Pasta

8 August 2022 By Aleksandra

Parsley pesto pasta makes a quick and delicious vegetarian pasta dish. You’ll love this easy pasta with flavorful parsley pesto, al dente spaghetti, and crunchy carrots and zucchini.

Parsley pesto pasta in a frying pan.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this dish:

Labeled ingredients for parsley pesto pasta.

Pasta – I used spaghetti because it pairs wonderfully with carrot ribbons but every other pasta will work.

Parsley pesto – parsley is a delicious and more budget-friendly substitution for basil in a pesto sauce. Instead of parsley pesto, you can make traditional basil pesto, basil walnut pestocelery leaf pesto, arugula pistachio pesto, or wild garlic (ramp) pesto.

Veggies – all your favorite vegetables will work here but I really like this recipe with zucchini and carrot ribbons. I really like to cut carrots this way for pasta dishes. These carrots taste so sweet and their texture is amazing (so crunchy) and pairs well with pasta.

Parmesan cheese – for garnish.

For the parsley pesto you will need:

Labeled ingredients for parsley pesto.
  • parsley – use flat-leaf parsley (also known as Italian parsley) for this recipe (curly parsley can also be used but flat-leaf parsley has more flavor), use just leaves – stems have a more bitter flavor and are too tough
  • parmesan cheese – use original Italian Parmigiano Reggiano for the best flavor, it’s better to grate it yourself than to use pre-grated cheese
  • olive oil
  • fresh garlic
  • nuts – any nuts will work with this recipe, I used pumpkin seeds but a great option are also almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pine nuts
  • lemon juice and lemon zest – brighten up the sauce, don’t skip them! please use freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • you could also add some red pepper flakes to your pesto if you’d like it more spicy

How to make parsley pesto pasta step by step

A collage of 3 photos showing how to prepare parsley pesto.

STEP 1: Make the parsley pesto:

  • Add all the ingredients for the pesto except the olive oil to a food processor.
  • Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • With the food processor running at low speed, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the oil is incorporated.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
A collage of 3 photos showing how to prepare parsley pesto pasta.

STEP 2: Cook the pasta until al dente (follow the package directions – the pasta should be cooked but still slightly firm in the center). Reserve a couple of tablespoons of pasta cooking water.

STEP 3: Prepare the vegetables:

  • Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then slice crosswise into 1/4 inch (5 mm) slices.
  • Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler and use the same peeler to cut long, thin strips. Firmly hold the zucchini flat against a cutting board, press the peeler against it and peel the flesh, sliding the peeler away from you.

STEP 4: Cook vegetables: Heat the oil in a big frying pan over high heat, add the zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. The vegetables should be browned and tender but still crunchy.

STEP 5: Assemble: Add the cooked pasta and pesto to the vegetables along with a couple of tablespoons of pasta cooking water. Stir everything together, take the pan off the heat, season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

An overhead photo of parsley pesto pasta in a frying pan.

Storage

This pasta dish reheats very well. You can store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. It would be better to store the pasta and sauce separately to prevent the pasta from getting too soft but if you simply reheat this dish, it will still be very good.

How to store pesto: Parsley pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. It also freezes very well.

Parsley pesto pasta on a white plate.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Parsley Pesto Pasta

Parsley pesto pasta makes a quick and delicious vegetarian pasta dish. You’ll love this easy pasta with flavorful parsley pesto, al dente spaghetti, and crunchy carrots and zucchini.
Pin This Recipe! SAVE THIS RECIPE
Parsley pesto pasta in a frying pan.
Print Recipe

RATE THE RECIPE

(click on the stars)

No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 908kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the pasta:

  • 8 ounces (230g) spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 medium/large zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 cup parsley pesto from the recipe below or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons pasta cooking water if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese to serve

for the parsley pesto:

  • 2 lightly packed cups (35g) flat-leaf parsley leaves 2 small bunches
  • 1/2 cup grated (45g) parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons (25g) pumpkin seeds or pistachios, walnuts/almonds/pine nuts are also great
  • zest grated of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Make parsley pesto: Add all the ingredients for the pesto except the olive oil to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the food processor running at low speed, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the oil is incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente (follow the package directions – the pasta should be cooked but still slightly firm in the center). Reserve a couple of tablespoons of pasta cooking water.
  • Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then slice crosswise into 1/4 inch (5 mm) slices.
  • Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler and use the same peeler to cut long, thin strips. Firmly hold the zucchini flat against a cutting board, press the peeler against it and peel the flesh, sliding the peeler away from you.
  • Heat the oil in a big frying pan over high heat, add the zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. The vegetables should be browned and tender but still crunchy.
  • Add the cooked pasta and pesto to the vegetables along with a couple of tablespoons of pasta cooking water. Stir everything together, take the pan off the heat, season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Calories = 1 serving (1/3 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Tried this Recipe? Rate the Recipe and tell us what you think in the Comments!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




The maximum upload file size: 1 MB. You can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here