Pesto Amalfitana

I think parsley is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of herbs: it doesn’t get nearly the respect it deserves! Too often it is regarded as nothing more than a pretty garnish, but it’s oh so much more than that. It’s great in soups – a must in chicken soup as far as I am concerned. And what would Tabbouleh be without parsley? Dried parsley has little flavor, so it’s one herb where fresh is best. And it’s nutritious as well, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.


finished Pesto Amalfitana

Here are Happy Acres we always have parsley growing. It’s easy to grow, but it’s a biennial so it must be planted every year because no matter what you do, the second year it is going to flower and then that’s the end of it.

That’s exactly what happened to three plants I had growing all winter in the greenhouse. They kept us supplied with plenty of parsley since last fall, but they were starting to flower so I pulled them up to make room for cucumbers. I had a whole ziploc bag of parsley leaves. What’s to do with all that parsley? When life gives you parsley, I say it’s time to make pesto!


ingredients for Pesto Amalfitana (click on any image to enlarge)

I first saw this recipe on an episode of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita on Cooking Channel. I love this show because much of his cooking seems to involve simple preparation of fresh local fruits and vegetables. That happens to be one of my favorite things as well.

This pesto comes from the sunny Amalfi coast of Italy – via an Italian/Canadian, to Happy Acres. It’s great tossed with pasta dishes, slathered on pizza crust or spread on a slab of crispy crostini bread. Or add a spoonful to a bowl of vegetable or chicken soups.

Pesto Amalfitana Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Adapted from a David Rocco recipe

1 cup parsley leaves (tightly packed)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup walnuts
1 dash salt, quanto basta (as required/just enough)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place all ingredients except cheese in food processor. Process to desired consistency.

2. Stir in cheese. If freezing, omit cheese and add after thawing.

3. To help preserve the pesto, cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil.

Servings: 16 (1 tbsp)
Yield: 1 cup

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 87 calories, 78 calories from fat, 8.9g total fat, 2.8mg cholesterol, 59.8mg sodium, 33.6mg potassium, <1g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, <1g sugar, 1.6g protein, 42mg calcium, 1.6g saturated fat.


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10 Responses to Pesto Amalfitana

  1. Daphne Gould says:

    I always grow my parsley, but I really don’t eat all that much of it. I need to learn to use it in more things.

    • Villager says:

      Other than making pesto, I don’t always use a lot of parsley at one time. But I use a little of it in a lot of things, like mashed potatoes and potato salad. I love it with shrimp dishes. Tonight I’m making a Shrimp and Asparagus Pesto pasta dish. I’m looking forward to making it with homemade pesto and fresh from the garden asparagus.

  2. We had a monster Italian gigante parsley plant that over-wintered really well this year, but as it started to push flowers we pulled the plant and gave it to the chickens. Next time I’ll save a little for us and try this pesto, I’m intrigued!

    • Villager says:

      I’ll bet the chickens enjoyed that parsley! The pesto is surprisingly mild tasting. I was expecting it to be over the top with parsley flavor, but that’s not the case. We’re saying we like it as much, or better, than Genovese basil. My latest way to eat it is to spread it on a slice of some fresh, crusty bread.

  3. Emily says:

    Great recipe. We planted parsley for the first time this year.

    One technical question, what plug in do you use to create the printable recipe card format?

  4. Tracy says:

    I love pesto! Thanks so much for this wonderful article.

  5. Thanks for sharing this!

    We’re going to have it for lunch, this afternoon.

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