01 April, 2012

Parsley Pesto & Egg Yolk Spaghetti

Well, to be honest it's not exactly a pesto. I took inspiration (as on so many other occasions) from Jamie Oliver and put together one of the most simple and delicious pasta dishes. In fact, I guess that with pasta, simplicity is the key: keep it simple, good ingreds, watch, learn, practice, eat right away!


  • spaghetti pasta;
  • 2 cloves garlic;
  • a big handfull parsley leaves (extra for garnish);
  • 2 tablespoons grated pamesan cheese per serving;
  • 1 egg yolk per serving;
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil per serving;
  • salt, coarse ground black pepper;
  • a few drops lemon juice (optional).

So, in a stone mortar crush 2 garlic cloves with salt (acts as an abrasive and draws moisture from the garlic making it pasty). Then pick the leaves from a good bunch of parsley (about how much you can squeeze into the mortar bowl). Crush well by hitting and with circular motions of the pestle. Poor in some olive oil, a few tablespoons. To make it more pesto like, you can add grated parmesan and pine nuts. I did not.
In stead I put the grated parmesan in a bowl and to that I added one egg yolk per serving. Stir well and add olive oil to taste. The same with coarse crushed black pepper. No fire so far!
Add the garlic parsley mush to the egg and parmesan. It must have reduced to a spoonfull by crushing it. 
Jamie adds some lemon juice. I added very little, just a few drops. It's true that it can bring a nice flavour to the dish but it can ruin it just the same. I personally like the olive oil flavour better.
Boil the pasta in salted water and when al dente just add it to the sauce bowl without straining it too much. Starchy pasta water is welcome to thin the sauce and give it a velvety consistency. Coat well the pasta and serve immediately with extra parsley leaves and grated parmesan.
It's a great pasta sauce idea which combines the velvet sauce of the carbonara with the freshness of the parsley and fruity olive oil.
It was so goo that I scooped up the remainder of the sauce from the plate with a loaf of bread. Enjoy!

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