Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pesto, Pasta, and Peas

Who doesn't love pesto, right?!?  My husband.  He doesn't hate it, but definitely thinks it is "chick food."  Whenever I tell him I am making something with pesto in it for dinner I get a long sigh followed by a "pestooooo....??"  much like the whiny "chiiicken...??" I have mentioned before.  I usually just tell him to get over it and be happy that he has a wife that cooks such delicious things and not just casseroles night after night.  But on this night, I said, "Don't worry, I'm taking this to bunco and there is a pizza in the oven for you guys."  I did have him taste test this, though, and surprisingly enough, he liked it.  This coming from the guy that hates pasta salads, too, was especially impressive!  Of course, all the girls at bunco loved it!  After all, it is chick food...

This is what you'll need for this recipe:

I wouldn't categorize this as a healthy recipe, but most of the fat in it is good fat.  I've made it healthier, too, by using multigrain pasta with added protein and canola oil based mayo.  Speaking of which, have you ever compared fat grams between that stuff and Best Foods original?  I'm pretty sure it saves you like 10g of fat per serving.  And I think it tastes great!

While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce:

The sauce consists of the spinach, pesto, mayo, and lemon juice

Toss the cooked pasta in some EVOO along with the pesto mixture, toasted pine nuts and defrosted peas and you've got yourself a delicious and easy pasta salad!

And don't forget the parmesan cheese, please!

Pesto, Pasta, and Peas
Adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

1 pound fuilli or rotini pasta(I used Barilla Plus rotini)
1 cup basil pesto, store bought or homemade
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry)
1 1/2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
a little less than 1 cup mayonnaise.
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil.  Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts on medium low heat in a small saucepan until they start to brown.  This usually takes 6-8 minutes, but keep your eye on them.  They burn fast!

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice.  Add the mayo and puree.  Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the parmesan, peas, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.



  1. Sara! Love the new background!!!

    xo xo

  2. I've made this recipe many times and is a favorite of mine...and my husband loves it, too!

  3. What kind of pesto did you use? I have to admit that I'm not a big pesto fan, but I think it could be the recipe. Any suggestions?

  4. I usually use The Barefoot Contessa's recipe for pesto. But, if you don't want to go thru the trouble of making it, I think Costco sells a great one! It is made by Cibo Naturals, I believe. It is really good!!