Fresh parsley pesto and feta make for a bright and light dinner. With added garlic chicken sausage, this meal is sure to satisfy hunger. Try using chickpeas for a vegetarian option.
By Taylor Kadlec
The pesto recipe makes a little more than what you need, but pesto freezes beautifully and you’ll have parsley pesto ready to go whenever you want. Another recipe note – in my directions I talk about saving the pasta water and adding some in at the end. This naturally thickens any pasta sauce, which really meant that a little bit of my pesto went a long ways. Add the pasta water gradually, until the pasta is coated in the pesto to your liking.
I loved the freshness of the parsley in the pesto and along with the lemon zest and feta – it was a yummy spring dinner. The chicken sausage added some heartiness to the pasta, but I think you could use other meats too, like chicken or shrimp, and I think a can of chickpeas would be a really delicious vegetarian option, too.
- 10-12 oz fusilli pasta, or pasta of your choice
- 4 links chicken sausage (I used roasted garlic chicken sausage)
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 cups parsley leaves, loosely packed
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp salt
- juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Bring large pot of water to boil.
- Add pasta and 1 tbsp salt and cook according to package.
- Once cooked, save ½ cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- While pasta is cooking, cook the chicken sausages in separate skillet over medium-high heat, according to package, until cooked. Mine took about 8 minutes.
- While pasta and sausage are cooking, you can also make the pesto.
- Make the pesto by adding almonds, parsley, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and salt to food processor.
- Pulse until very finely chopped.
- Add lemon juice and olive oil and pulse until well combined. You may have to scrape down the edges a couple of times to make sure the olive oil is evenly distributed.
- Once pasta and sausage are cooked, combine them in large pot.
- Add ⅓-1/2 cup of pesto and 2 tbsp of pasta water.
- Stir to combine well. Add more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. I added about ¼ cup total just to moisten it a bit.
- Serve into pasta bowls and top with crumbled feta.
Taylor Kadlec is a lover of all things food including baking, cooking, and of course, eating. She is a self-taught baker and cook, and she shares her kitchen adventures on her blog Greens & Chocolate, where healthy cooking meets sinful indulgence.