Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pasta, Pesto and Peas

Okay, so what does this picture have to do with the title of this post? It's my new badge (if you will) that from hence forth will signify that you, the reader, are entering the "Ina Zone". Seriously, I have joined a fun new group of bloggers, the Barefoot Bloggers, a group dedicated to the Queen of the Kitchen, The Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. On a bi-monthly basis, the second and fourth Thursday of the month, I will be recreating and posting one of Ina's recipes which have been chosen at random, from a fellow BB. I wanted to have some more fun with this (I mean creating and eating any of Ina's recipes is in itself a pleasure) so I came up with this badge. What a great excuse for a pedicure! If anyone is in my area and wants to recreate these great toes, please, go see Tony Vo at French Nails & Spa. He's a great nail artist, don't you agree! Thanks for the great work Tony!
I may switch the pics of my polished peds out a bit, I took a series at the beach this a.m. Anyway, on with the first of many recipes! I am presenting the version I made and at the end will provide a link to the original.

Pasta, Pesto and Peas

3/4 pound Barilla mini fusilli
3/4 pound Barilla bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus a little more to drizzle at the end
1 1/2 cups pesto, I used 1/2 cup that I had made last fall and froze and 1 cup of Christopher Ranch bottled
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup Kraft Light Mayo with Olive Oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt , or to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

In a large pot of boiling salted water I first cooked the bowties. When they were just al dente I removed them with a spider, drained them in the colander and tossed them with half of the olive oil. Then, in the same pot, I cooked the fusilli til al dente, drained and tossed it in the same large bowl, adding the rest of the olive oil. This recipe makes quite a bit, so having a large enough bowl is a bonus. 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 to the puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and add a bit more olive oil if you feel it needs to be loosened up at all. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Either way it is delicious!

Here is the link to Ina's original recipe. I just made a few changes, mainly not making all the pesto. My basil is just starting to grow so I did not have enough to cut and, frankly, the price at the store is not cost effective. I served this the first night with some sweet onion, portobella and golden sweet pepper that were grilled. Great on a warm night! Enjoy!

Stay tuned for the next BB!


Prudy said...

I love the barefoot pic! Pasta looks wonderful, too!

Melissa said... the toes!

cookinpanda said...

Love the pictures. Also, great salad. Can't go wrong with pasta with peas and pesto!

Janna said...

I love the barefoot pic. I promise you (and this is not an exaggeration) that my toes look just like yours right now. They are a deep pink with white flowers on the big toe complete with a little bling in the center. I guess great minds think alike. :)
Your blog has some really great posts! I look forward to keeping up with it.

Debinhawaii said...

Great pictures--wonderful idea for your Barefoot Bloggers badge. My toes feel so plain right now! The pictures of your pasta are so nice--what beautiful basil.