How to Make It
In a food processor, puree the garlic and parsley with the salt. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the almonds and pulse to chop.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the spaghetti and toss with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the pesto, and the tomatoes. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.
Variations: Spaghetti with Parsley Almond Pesto and Parmesan: Stir 1/4 cup grated Parmesan into the parsley pesto after chopping the almonds.
Spaghetti with Parsley Pine-Nut Pesto: Use 1/3 cup pine nuts in place of the almonds for a more traditional pesto.
What Is Pesto?: Traditional pesto is an uncooked sauce from Genoa made with basil, garlic, olive oil, grated cheese, and pine nuts. More recently pesto, which literally means crushed, is being used as a general term to describe many herb-and-nut purees. Feel free to experiment with different herbs, nuts, and grated cheeses, depending on what you like and can get easily.
Wine Recommendation: With the parsley, olive oil, and almonds, a simple, lively white wine is best. Good examples are a pinot grigio from the Alto Adige and a Vernaccia di San Gimignano from Tuscany.
Quick From Scratch Pasta