Monday, January 16, 2012

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I have made this pasta dish a number of time before and as with the pasta sauce, I tend to go back and forth using the recipes of either Ina Garten or Dave Lieberman. Depending on whether I'm in the mood for tomatoes on my pasta or peas with a spinach mayonnaise dressing, I usually don't have a problem choosing one over the other. This time though, I decided to go with Ina Garten's recipe since I'm serving roasted tomatoes on the side and it will be overkill if I went with tomatoes on my pasta dish as well. Mind you, Dave's recipe is really good so if you want a bit of variety, go and try his recipe as well. 

The first consideration is the pesto sauce. It is the main flavor of the dressing and so a good recipe is essential. Once again, I've turned to Dave and Ina but in this case, I married their two recipes to come up with a really good pesto sauce. One word of caution when making pesto, do not overprocess. You need it to have some gritty texture and once you've made it, protect it with a thick layer of good extra virgin olive oil. This will keep the pesto from becoming oxidized to a ruddy gray color. And now, on to the recipe. 

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas - Adapted*

3/4 lb bow tie pasta
3/4 lb rotinni
olive oil
1 1/2 cup pesto
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup almond slivers, chopped
salt and pepper

1. Cook the pasta according to packet directions. Drain and dress with about 
    1/4 cup olive oil. Set aside and let cool. 

2. In a blender, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and spinach leaves. 
    Blitz until you form a fine paste. 

3. Add the mayonnaise mix to the pasta and mix well to dress. Add the pesto
    and the cheese and mix well. 

4. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper.Garnish with the almonds. 

*Barefoot Contessa, Food Network Channels: Pasta Bella episode.

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