Thursday, June 12, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Pasta, Pesto & Peas

PASTA, PESTO & PEAS

This was my first Barefoot Bloggers post. How exciting!! Barefoot Bloggers is an event dedicated to Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. This group is perfect for me because Matt & I both love Ina.

This recipe was chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food. The pasta turned out delicious. I halved the recipe, as it makes a TON. I didn't end up making my own pesto, but I will next time for sure. My recipe, with changes, is below. Be sure to check out Barefoot Bloggers to see the results and check out Food Network for Ina's original recipe!

PASTA, PESTO & PEAS

INGREDIENTS:
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
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise (I omitted)
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

DIRECTIONS:
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.

PESTO:
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.

Notes:
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

5 comments:

Melissa said...

Wow, yours was healthy without the mayo!

Rebecca said...

Welcome to the group! When you have time, make her pesto. It's ridiculously good.

bakingwiththeboys said...

Your close-up looks fabulous! I thought it would work with no mayo...

Linds said...

Yum, we loved this too. I'm glad to see someone else omitted the mayo and still loved it. I can't wait to make it again!

madebymel said...

Looks great! You should definitely try Ina's pesto, it was delicious!