A rustic, super-simple pappardelle recipe: pesto sauce with parsley and pistachios with wide pasta noodles. Make it by hand right on a cutting board for a fresh, vibrant vegetarian dish!
Here’s one of our favorite vegetarian pappardelle pasta recipes.
It’s all about fresh, intensely flavorful pesto pasta sauce that doesn’t require a food processor (just a knife and a cutting board) tossed with those wide, chewy pappardelle noodles we can’t get enough of.
Sometimes it feels good — and absolutely necessary — to get back to basics in the kitchen.
Getting all your senses involved in the process of cooking — washing, chopping and tasting — involves your eyes, nose and the touch of your hands.
There’s nothing more grounding after a stressful day.
It also the cheapest form of therapy I know!
One of my favorite old books about food is Unplugged Kitchen by Viana La Place.
The description of her kitchen makes me want to move in:
Work surfaces in my kitchen are worn and well used. There’s my trusty chopping board, my grandmother’s colander, my small cast-iron stovetop grill (which I bought in Italy many years ago); my heavy stone mortar and pestle – without it I’d be lost.
My kitchen isn’t shiny and new; it’s lived-in and soft-looking, with a high ceiling and tall windows. Old tiles, some chipped, line the counter; walls and cabinets are painted the color of white butter…we eat at a very old, slightly creaky, wooden table.
In my kitchen, the food processor is stored in a cabinet rather than on the countertop to save space.
It’s not that it’s that hard to haul it out (and I do).
But in the time it takes to get it plugged in and ready to go, I can make parsley pesto for pappardelle noodles right on my counter.
“If you should ask me to name a dish that a bit of parsley would fail to improve, I might be startled as by an impertinence.” – Angelo Pellegrini; The Food Lover’s Garden
Parsley is an herb, sure, but it’s becomes a fresh ingredient that I almost treat like a vegetable.
I throw it in salads and arrange in small piles on the dinner plate if there aren’t other greens in the house, like baby spinach or arugula.
I think Italian parsley tastes like the essence of springtime.
It has as an intense green, and almost floral quality that I love.
This pesto is delicious with wide pasta noodles like the pappardelle shown here, or try it with fettuccine noodles or penne pasta.
Pappardelle Pasta with Parsley-Pesto Sauce
- ¼ cup (35 g) pistachios or whole almonds, toasted for 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) chopped red onion or shallot
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed with flat side of a chef's knife
- 2 cups Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, (from about 1 large bunch)
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup (35 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ pound (225 g) pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
- ½ pound (225 g) green beans, stem ends trimmed and sliced in half
- Bring a large pot of salted water (about 1/4 cup kosher salt for 5-6 quarts water) boil.
- Put the pistachios on a cutting board and chop into crumbs with a large knife. Pile the onion, scallion, garlic and parsley on top and chop everything together until fine.
- Transfer parsley mixture to a bowl. Stir in olive oil, cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
- Put the pasta into the boiling water and cook until almost al dente. Toss in the green beans and cook a few more minutes. Just before draining, scoop out ¼ cup of the pasta water and stir into the pesto.
- Toss the hot pasta and green beans with the pesto and serve. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.