Pasta and Chickpeas with Salsa Verde

John came home yesterday, finally!  And he cleaned up the whole house and washed the stray dishes and started the laundry.  Amazing, wonderful man.  It is so good to have him back.

Now that he’s back, though, I can’t keep up my habit of toast and yogurt with honey and hippie medicinal tea for all meals, and so, inspired by the memory of some passages on parsley from An Everlasting Meal (and by the fact that I have almost nothing in the fridge other than parsley and lemons) I made some salsa verde. The Italian kind (not salsa made with tomatillos).  And I cooked up some chickpeas and a big pot of pasta.

I made the salsa verde in haste, without consulting the cookbook or measuring anything, and when I decided to look back at the recipe I realized that my variation contains about 10 times more garlic, plus a lot of lemon juice.  And I omitted (because I didn’t have) the shallot, anchovy and capers.  So maybe this isn’t properly salsa verde at all, but it is a sauce, and it is green, so I will call it that.

This version turned out tasting so clean and bright and bracing with all the garlic and lemon, I had a hard time not eating it all of the bowl, like a salad.

Salsa Verde

All you need is some lemon, parsley, garlic, salt, and olive oil.*  Roughly chop leaves and stems of a bunch of parsley, throw them in a bowl, and drench (I mean, drench) them with some extra virgin olive oil.  Add about half a teaspoon of salt, and anywhere from half a finely chopped clove of garlic (per Tamar Adler’s recipe) to 5 cloves of garlic (per mine).  Then add a generous squeeze of lemon (or lime) juice and some of the zest (one or two lemons).  Mix everything together.  Check for salt, and add more olive oil if you can’t discern a pool of oil at the bottom of the bowl.

* With a recipe this simple, the quality of the ingredients will really show through.  Splurge on organic parsley and lemons, and good quality sea salt if you can.

I think this would probably freeze beautifully and should store well in the fridge for about a week.  Pile it on toast, serve it on top of eggs, with pasta and a few curls of freshly grated parmesan, etc. (Pictured: some orecciette pasta tossed with chickpeas and salsa verde.)


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