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+ servings

Carrot Top Pesto Fettuccine

Don't throw away your carrot tops!  Make this pesto instead.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 554kcal


  • 2 Cups Fresh Carrot Tops, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 8 Ounces (weight) Fettuccine Pasta (1/2 box)
  • 1/4 Cup Pasta Water


  • Fill a large stock pot with water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Heat a small pan over medium-low heat, and toast the pine nuts, tossing every 30 seconds so they don't burn.  Once they're golden brown and nicely toasted (about 2-3 minutes) add them to the food processor.
  • While the pine nuts are toasting, rough chop the carrot tops, just so the food processor has an easier time with them.  When chopping, start at the top of the carrot top, and work  your way down until there are no more leaves, leaving the stem.  Don't worry if you get some stems in there, they'll be pulverized by the food processor.  Also, make sure to pack the carrot tops when measuring.  Add to your food processor along with the pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Run the food processor for 10 seconds, scrape down the sides, and run for another 10 seconds.  At this point, everything should be finely chopped.  If you see any stems that are persisting, take them out.  They lose. 
  • Place the top back on the food processor, and with it running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Stop the food processor when that's done, and add the grated cheese last.  Pulse 3 - 5 times just to combine the cheese with the carrot top mixture.
  • Once the pasta water is boiling, salt it with a good amount of salt (1-2 Tablespoons), add the fettuccine, and cook as per package directions.  Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water.
  • Return the drained noodles back to their original pot, and add 1/2 cup of your prepared pesto.  Toss well, and add the reserved pasta water in increments if you like it a little creamier. 
  • Divide among four plates, top with a couple extra sprinkles of Parmigiano Reggiano, and serve!


You'll have about 3/4 cup of pesto left over for sandwich spread, an addition to hummus, a double batch of pasta, or whatever you like!


Calories: 554kcal