Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quick Pesto Pasta

CSA ingredients: basil, garlic


Tonight I did not plan ahead for dinner, 6pm rolls around now what?  Should we order pizza?  No- we ate out for lunch what can we have a home?  This was a quick dinner solution.

In this weeks box was a bunch of basil.  I have an herb garden but my basil is not growing great this year so the basil bunch was destined for pesto.


2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesean cheese, grated
1 tbsp pinenuts (can use walnuts instead)
1 cloves garlic
salt to taste (may not need any!)
1/4 cup of reserved cooking water (from pasta)- this helps reduce the amount of oil you need

Put all the ingredients except water into food processor with steel cutting blade.  Pulse until a course paste is formed.  Add hot water and pulse a few more times to blend.  Mix with up to one pound of cooked pasta.

Kitchen TIP: Make pasta while water coming to boil and prepare the rest while the pasta cooks.

Kitchen TIP: Double or triple this if you have lot of basil.  You can freeze the basil in 1/2 or cup sizes or put into an ice cube tray and freeze.  Than put the frozen pesto cubes in a freezer bag.  They defrost in a minute in the microwave.  They are very nice to add to a soup or as a spread on a panini.

Green Bean Pesto Pasta
You can really add almost anything to pasta and make a pesto pasta meal!  Here is tonight's version based on what was avaliable in the fridge.  If there are leftovers it can be served cold or room temperature for a great lunch.  The nuts add some protein and flavor. 

1 box whole wheat penne pasta
Pesto- 1 recipe above
2 cups green beans cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup grape tomates, halved
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
1/4 cup chopped and toasted walnuts

Cook pasta cooked al dente in lightly salted water.  During last 5 minutes of cooking the pasta throw in the green beans into the boiling water with the pasta.  Drain.  Add pasta, beans, and pesto to bowl and mix.  Add in tomatoes.  Top with cheese and nuts. 

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