Parsley Pesto Pasta

ParsleyPestoVertbfLO`Ah, I LOVE the sound of alliteration in the morning…

What I DON’T normally love is tortellini (tho’ strangely enough; cold, left-over, and straight from the fridge in the morning it is almost irresistible to me) – but Rich likes it, and I had a coupon for some nice supermarket fresh spinach and three-cheese tortellini.

The usual tomato sauce was out (tomatoes are a no-no for Rich just now), and I’m making Lasagna a la Française for a dinner gathering on Saturday, so a white wine onion sauce was out as well; what to do?

We all know the answer now: OFF TO da GOOGLE!

The nice people at very nicely provided the basis for this recipe, which leapt out at me with it’s use of parsley – kind of a super ingredient in mitigating Rich’s symptoms. A few additional small tweaks (broccoli in place of cauliflower, black olives for green, garlic) and we had a dinner with which I was quite pleased.

But first. Did you know that pesto does not HAVE to have basil in it? That would be Pesto Genovese. The lack of pine nuts could make this a pistou, but the recipe didn’t call for any cheese, and many traditional French pistou (pistoux?) call for basil as well as parsley…

Oh, bother! Let’s just call it pesto and get on with it…

•2-1/2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves – I added the stems as well; sue me
•2 cloves garlic
•2/3 cup olive oil

•Broccoli florets
– I used about half of a 14 oz. bag of frozen
•Pasta – I used a large tray of Buitoni Three-Cheese and Spinach Tortellini, but the original recipe called for rotelle (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
ParsleyPestoPastabfLO•1 cup ripe olives, sliced or chopped fine

Lightly cook the broccoli in a covered dish in the microwave for five minutes – add a bit of salt, but you won’t really need to add any additional water if you’re using frozen.

Purée the parsley with the oil and garlic in a blender.

Bring a large kettle of well salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain well (don’t rinse).

In a large bowl toss the pasta with the pesto, the broccoli, the olives, and salt and pepper to taste. I also added a good sprinkling of crushed red pepper on my plate (YUM!).

I’m thinkin’ a bit of freshly shaved parmesan would be a nice topper as well.

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