In my family, we call this dish ‘oink, oink.’ I know, we are a pretty weird bunch of Germans. And yes you guessed it. The name came from the noise we made with our mouths/nasal area at the very mention that my mother will be making this for dinner that night. This dish is so tasty to the point where pig sounds need to be made.
But pig noises aside, let’s talk about what this simple yet deliciously wholesome recipe is really all about: the herbs, baby. And boy, do I LOVE herbs.
I will admit, it did take me a while to get used to having all that green and leafiness in my pasta. Coming from someone who in their childhood insisted on only eating their spaghetti drenched in ketchup, it was a pretty important step in my life when I finally went green, and I mean literally from all the herbs I am eating.
So this dish is herbs on top of herbs. You first start with the pesto, which is of course a celebration of basil. But what is great about this pesto is the nuttiness it has from the generous amount of pine nuts added as well the walnuts which help give it even more flavor. I also feel like this makes the dish a bit more substantial in contrast with all the greens we’ve added in.
And when it comes to chopping those herbs, you need a knife. A killer, awesome, you-kind-of-get-scared-when-you-take-it-out kind of knife. Not a machete or anything, but still a knife that when you put it in your hands you feel like all of a sudden you mean business. And I recently got me one of those knives.
You should always, ALWAYS not be afraid put in the extra dough when it comes to buying a good knife. Because this baby should last you a long time. Your grandkids should inherit this knife.
And when I say generously add your herbs, I mean PACK ‘EM IN. You wanna feel like at one point you’ve lost your spaghetti in the pool of herbs you’ve just made.
Spaghetti with Pesto and Fresh Herbs
For the Spaghetti:
16 oz. spaghetti
2 cups dill, finely chopped
2 cups cilantro, finely chopped
2 cups parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the Pesto:
¾ cup pine nuts
1/3 cup walnut halves
1½ medium cloves garlic
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp balsamic reduction (optional)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, walnut halves, and garlic. Pulse a few times to break up and combine the ingredients. Add the basil, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt, pepper, balsamic reduction (if using), and 1/2 cup of olive oil to the food processor and process until very fine. Gradually add the remaining oil, to taste, pulsing until smooth.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Once finished, drain well and return spaghetti to pot or serving bowl and mix in about 1 tablespoon of oil so it doesn’t stick.
Mix in the pesto from the food processor with your cooked spaghetti. Generously add the finely chopped dill, cilantro and parsley on top and then add the grated Parmesan. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
Eat it while it’s warm and fresh!