Thursday, June 12, 2008

BB: Pasta, Peas, and Pesto

Our first Barefoot Bloggers dish was chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food. She chose Pasta, Peas and Pesto. Yum you say. In typical fashion we decide to start making this meal around 8:30pm on the hottest day of the year so far. The thermometer read 95 degrees and the humidity was at least 100%. Needless to say, it was a hot adventure!

We managed to get through the task with only one minor issue--which you might notice in the final product picture--but it was remedied after the fact. Here goes...Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa: Pasta, Peas, Pesto

Ingredients:

3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
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 used just shy of a cup)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted (I used 2 cups)
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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

What to do:

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 toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
I made the pesto first:
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. Yum, love Pesto

Back to the main recipe now that the pesto is made. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. I used a reduced fat mayo (I know, probably not the best tasting, but needed to spare a few calories). And here's where the heat got to me. I misread where it said to use 1.5 cups of pesto, I just added the spinach, etc right to all the pesto I made...so you can imagine the HUGE amount of sauce I had created. At first I was annoyed that I had misread the recipe, but after a good laugh we decided extra pesto sauce was just fine...we used a little extra when coating the noodles.

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. And, for the finished product we have the slightly overdressed pasta, but none the less, it was delicious. We ate ours with some ricotta and herb stuffed chicken hot off the grill.

And it appears my fruitful kitchen helper was defeated by the heat. No pesto for you this time big guy. Stay cool.

4 comments:

Prudy said...

Homemade pesto...Yum! The pasta looks terrific!

Melissa said...

I should have used bowties too...looks great!

Natashya said...

Very pretty pasta. I like your colourful flooring as well, very fun. My puppies were dragging in the heat too, even with the air.

Prudy said...

Per your question-I didn't use yogurt this time, but I have used yogurt in the past in cold pasta dishes. It works great-just don't use low fat. Go for the whole milk yogurt! Best of luck!