Sure, there's pesto made with basil, but other vibrant greens (such as parsley or arugula) can be just as mouthwatering, says cooking guru Alice Waters, of the legendary Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, Calif., and author of The Art of Simple Food II ($35; amazon.com). While Waters insists that making pesto with a mortar and pestle creates the best results ("it yields just the right texture," she says), a food processor will work nicely too. Read on for the recipe.
Fusilli with Parsley Pesto
2 cloves garlic, peeled Salt
½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
1 lb dried whole-wheat fusilli
1 light-packed cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup virgin olive oil
1. Using a mortar and pestle (or food processer), create a paste with garlic and ½ tsp salt.
2. Add walnuts; continue to grind (or process). Mix in cheese; transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, boil fusilli in a large pot of salted water until al dente.
4. Coarsely chop parsley leaves; place in the mortar (or food processor) to create a paste. Combine parsley and walnut pastes.
5. Continue to grind (or process) as you gradually pour in olive oil.
6. In a large bowl, toss pesto and cooked pasta. Season with salt.