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Saturday, April 6, 2013

ChezCindy: Welcome the Weekend with Parsley Walnut Pasta


Parsley Walnut Pasta

Friday dinners are my transitional meals.  Making something wonderful to share with family, transitions me from the stresses of my everyday work, into the relaxation of the weekend.  Sipping on a glass of wine helps too!  Friday dinners need to be quick-cooking, uncomplicated, kind of fun, and really delicious.  This parsley walnut pasta meets every bit of that.  And it comes together in minutes.  I paired it with seared salmon, but I have also served this with seared boneless chicken breasts and tilapia. Use a whole-grain pasta to power up on healthy ingredients. 

Parsley Walnut Pasta

12 ounces whole-grain pasta
2/3 cups chopped walnuts, toasted
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of reserved pasta water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the walnuts in a pie pan.  Roast for 5-7 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.  Once cool, chop into medium size pieces. 

Cook the pasta according to package directions; reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water before draining into a colander.  Set aside. 
Using the same pan the pasta was cooked in, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic; cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, chopped parsley, chopped walnuts, salt and pepper; cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the pasta back to the pan, stirring to combine, heating it through for a few minutes.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to yield a creamy texture, adding more as necessary.  Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.  Serve hot; garnish with additional cheese if desired. 

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