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Parsley Pesto-Breadcrumb Spaghetti


  • Salt

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped or grated

  • 2 bunches flat leaf parsley leaves (5-6 handfuls)

  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus 3 tablespoons, divided

  • Ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (about a handful)

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (about 2 handfuls)

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese

  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil to cook the spaghetti. Once at a boil, add some salt and the spaghetti, and cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain thoroughly. While the water is coming up to a boil for the pasta, make the parsley pesto: Place the garlic and parsley leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Add some salt and pepper, and pulse until roughly chopped. With the machine running, pour in 1/3-1/2 cup EVOO (just enough to make a thick, smooth paste). Turn the machine off and reserve. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring every now and then, until very lightly toasted. Add the breadcrumbs, stir to combine and toast until the breadcrumbs are golden and the pine nuts are a dark golden color, 2-3 minutes. Add the pesto to the skillet with the breadcrumbs and cook 2-3 minutes (just enough to cook out the raw garlic taste). Add the lemon zest and juice and season with some pepper. Add the drained spaghetti and Pecorino cheese to the skillet and toss to combine.

To serve, transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with the chopped tomatoes.