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Megans Cookin: Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

Day late and a pasta short. I signed up to be a Barefoot Blogger! We're a group of bloggers cooking our way through Ina Garten's cookbook Barefoot contessa. This recipe was chosen by Elizabeth from Ugg smell food. I was suppose to post this on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Oops! Day late.

This is the second recipe the group has done so I'm in from almost the beginning. I missed Baked eggs. I'll have to make up for that, maybe for fathers day breakfast. They looked fabulous.

Anyway, back to the pasta. It called for bow tie pasta and fusilli pasta. I didn't have any bow tie so I skipped it. A pasta short!

I also couldn't justify buying the basil (it was more expensive then the the pesto) so I bought pesto. I used half the pesto and half the mayo that the recipe called for. You would of never missed it, if I didn't tell you. That made this a quick and easy side dish.

Perfect with grilled chicken or a burger, this was a refreshing summer pasta salad. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did. Trust me!



3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil (I omitted)
1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below(I used 3/4 cup)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

Yield: 4 cups

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Anonymous Rebecca said...

Can't believe the basil alone was more expensive than the pesto. But welcome to the group! Your pasta looks deeelish.

June 13, 2008 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Rebecca, I know! The basil was so straggly and to get 5 cups, I needed at least 3 bunches @$1.50 each. It was only $3.29 for the pesto. BUT, I only got 3/4 cups of pesto. It was enough though!

June 13, 2008 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger RecipeGirl said...

I've made that pesto recipe (thankfully I have basil growing like weeds in my garden!) But I haven't yet made her pasta salad. Glad to hear it was good. I'll have to try it sometime!

June 14, 2008 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

Basil really is so expensive - I grow my own now, so now I can have basil in everything! This sounds fantastic !

June 19, 2008 at 9:55 AM  

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