Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid.
Place olives, sliced almonds, flat-leaf parsley leaves, black pepper, and garlic in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until coarsely chopped. With processor on, add 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vinegar through the food chute, processing until mixture is finely chopped. Combine pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, and olive mixture in a large bowl; toss well. Add enough of remaining 2 tablespoons cooking liquid to make pasta mixture moist, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.
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I thought this was delicious, though I agree a bit salty. This isn't really a "special occasion" meal, but still worthy of 4 stars. I used kalamata olives instead of the green, shredded parmigiano reggiano instead of asiago, and a mix of fresh parsley and fresh basil. I also used only 12oz of pasta instead of the whole pound. Next time I think I'll alter the proportion of the ingredients, lowering both the olive and almonds a bit and increasing the herbs for a lighter, more refreshing pesto. Over all I really enjoyed this (served with steamed artichoke and butter) and will make it again... maybe as a cold pasta salad... :)
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