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Fusilli with Parsley, Walnut, and Black Olive Pesto

Fusilli with Parsley, Walnut, and Black Olive Pesto

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Total Time: 30 mins

Active Time:

Makes: 4 servings

Sometimes tradition needs a little shaking up, so in this dish we’ve combined parsley, black olives, walnuts, and goat cheese (ingredients more common in French cooking than Italian) to make a quick and tangy variation of classic pesto. Whole-wheat fusilli adds heartiness and a little fiber.

What to buy: Whole-wheat pasta lends a nutty undertone to this dish, but you could also use the more common egg pasta.


  1. 1Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Place parsley, walnuts, chèvre, olives, pepper, and a generous pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are coarsely chopped and mixed together. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream.
  2. 2Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining in a colander; immediately return pasta to the empty pot.
  3. 3Add pesto and toss to combine. Stir in the reserved pasta water to create a creamier sauce. Taste and, if necessary, adjust seasoning; serve immediately.

Beverage pairing: Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry, Spain. When you try to think of wine that is both nutty and redolent of olives, there’s only one that should come to mind: fino sherry. It goes with everything pungent and salty, but also has a beautiful affinity for toasted nuts. Drink chilled in small amounts, as it’s stronger than most wines.

  • Fusilli with Parsley, Walnut, and Black Olive Pesto
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