Friday, March 19, 2010

Pesto, Pasta & Peas

Did you have a nice St. Patrick's Day? I really like the holiday, although I can't say I do much for it these days. There were years I went out and reveled in green beer, but those have long since passed. Especially when St. Patty's Day falls on a Wednesday. Go out on a weeknight?! Are you kidding?!

However, I have an extra special reason to love the green day - it's my brother's birthday. He's 33 this year. I love him, and even loved him and told friends how lucky I was to have him through the tough teenage 'annoy your sibling' years. He's smart, funny, genuine and a friend to all.

In honor of him and his birthday, here's a scrumptious green dinner that will have you and your whole family begging to celebrate St. Patrick's day all over again!

Just look at that green deliciousness...

Unfortunately, my batch was eaten before I remembered to take a picture.
So this picture is compliments of my sister and her blog post of the recipe.
I love the recipes you introduce me to, C!

If you need some more convincing to make this recipe, here are a few reasons:
1. I served this at a party and it was raved about and most people had second helpings.
2. One runner at our party said she had the best run/time ever the morning after eating it and asked me for the recipe. It's going to be her night before a race meal!
3. Makes EXCELLENT leftovers.
4. It includes spinach, which you can't taste. So if you need to slip some of the green veggie to non-spinach lovers (like my husband), they will never know. Wa, ha, ha (evil laughs are so fun).
5. This makes an excellent party dish, as you can make the pesto dressing hours before and the pasta a half hour before guests arrive. Since it's served at room temperature, toss everything together and have it ready to go before you start to greet your guests. Leaves you free to have fun!
6. Because I said so.

It's a new family favorite for us, so I hope you have the chance to serve it soon. Let me know what you and your family have to say!

Pesto, Pasta and Peas
from Ina Garten, via my sister's blog

Note: I made 1.5x the recipe to have enough for 12 adults. I served it with a tomato salad and bread. We had about 5 servings left, which made excellent leftover lunches.

3/4 pound Fusilli Pasta
3/4 pound Bow Tie Pasta
1/4 cup EVOO
1 1/2 cups Pesto (see below for a home-made Pesto recipe)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup Pine Nuts
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain and toss into a bowl with the Olive Oil. 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 mayonnaise and puree.

Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Serve.

Guten appetit!

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