Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Got extra parsley? Make pesto di prezzemolo

I had a bunch of flat-leaf parsley leftover so I looked around on the internet to see what I could make with it and   I found this pesto recipe.  Standard basil pesto is popular in our house, but this isn't a standard pesto, so I was uncertain what the reaction would be.  It has anchovies and there's no cheese or nuts.


Saveur Pesto di Prezzemolo (parsley pesto with anchovies)

I trimmed the olive oil down to only a couple tablespoons and added some pasta water to keep things loose.  I skipped the white wine vinegar and red chile flakes; I figured the caper brine would add enough tang so I wouldn't need the vinegar and I wanted to try a non-spicy version.  Sonny D will eat a decent amount of spice, maybe I should have tried it that way?   The original ingredients list also had salt, but with the anchovies and capers, I figured we'd have enough sodium.

Put this on rice noodles or other gluten-free pasta to keep it gluten-free.


  • 1/4 cup hot pasta water
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
  • 1Tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon packed oregano leaves
  • 2 anchovy filets in oil, drained (I have anchovies in a tube, so I squeezed out what looked like the equivalent of 2 filets)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Covers about 6 ounces (dry) of pasta.


Put all the ingredients together into an immersion blender cup and blend until smooth. 


Green, green, green.  Is this what chlorophyll tastes like?

Husband Jeff wouldn't touch this other than to give it a taste to confirm it wasn't something he wanted.  He thought it was "too green" (in flavor, the color didn't bug him) so he had butter and salt on his pasta instead.  He even admitted that sitting at the table with it kind of turned his stomach.

But Sonny D and I enjoyed it.  I thought Sonny D might like it because of the anchovies, he likes fish.  He also likes my basil pesto, so maybe he was confused and thought this was that?  I thought this was a total win since lately he's been not eating green foods (like vegetables, except for avocado).

We had a little bit left over, so I pulled it out for lunch the other day.  I added a sprinkle of cayenne to see what the original recipe might have been like, and it was fine, but it mainly just made it spicy parsley, rather than actually changing how it tasted.  Nice, but not important.

When I make basil pesto and I find myself without enough basil, I stretch it by adding some spinach, so maybe parsley would work as well? I might try it this summer if I get bored.  We're considering growing basil this year, so I might get a lot of opportunities to make basil pesto to try out some variations. 

I would recommend this recipe if you have a lot of extra parsley lying around, mainly because I don't know what else to suggest for parsley, but I wouldn't exactly tell you to go buy parsley so you could make this sauce.  But if you've tried tabbouleh and didn't like it or have nibbled on pretty much any sort of parsley and found it revolting, I would suggest you skip this recipe.

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!