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Pasta with Carrot Top Pesto

Pasta carrot pesto

Most of us are used to throwing away the leafy green tops of carrots, but they’re completely edible and make a wonderful pasta sauce! This waste-reducing recipe can be made with any kind of nuts you prefer, or with pumpkin or sunflower seeds if you’re a nut-free family. Blanching (lightly cooking) the carrot greens first makes them less tough and easier to blend into a sauce. Make a large batch and freeze the extra pesto in ice cube trays for quick meals later on.


1 cup packed roughly chopped carrot greens
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
1 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of one lemon
1 lb. of your favorite pasta


1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a rolling boil.
2. Add the carrot greens to the water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly and rinse the blanched greens with cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. In a blender or food processor, combine the carrot greens, parsley, nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pulse until you have a smooth paste (you can add 2 tablespoons of water if you need a bit more liquid to help it along).
4. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl. Stir in the cheese and lemon juice.
5. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with the pesto.