Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and Sausage

Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and SausageRecipe
Photo: Justin Walker; Styling: Kaitlyn Du Ross

A sprinkling of crumbled spicy sausage makes a salty-savory finishing touch to herb-drenched pasta. Some pestos tend to go drab, but this one stays a brilliant emerald green.


Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Total time: 25 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 25 Minutes
Total: 25 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 342
Fat 24.5 g
Satfat 5.9 g
Monofat 13.7 g
Polyfat 2.5 g
Protein 10.9 g
Carbohydrate 21.6 g
Fiber 3.2 g
Cholesterol 22 mg
Iron 5.2 mg
Sodium 607 mg
Calcium 193 mg


8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
3 ounces spicy pork Italian sausage, casings removed
4 garlic cloves, crushed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ounce fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided (about 1/4 cup)
5 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add pasta to pan, and cook 8 minutes or until almost al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Discard the remaining cooking liquid.

2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings; drain on paper towels. Add garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Remove from heat.

3. Combine about 2 tablespoons cheese and 4 3/4 cups parsley leaves in a food processor; process until finely ground. With motor running, add remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; process until smooth. Add parsley mixture and salt to pasta; toss well to coat. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 shallow bowls; top evenly with sausage, remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, and remaining 1/4 cup parsley leaves. Serve immediately.