Barefoot Bloggers: Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
Barefoot Bloggers June Recipe #1: Pasta, Pesto, & Peas. OK, so I was a little skeptical when I heard that my friend, Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food, chose this recipe for the first official (Herbed-Baked Eggs was a trial run) of the Barefoot Bloggers ode to Ina cooking and baking blogging group (which by the way, is up to 67 members!). I don’t know what it was – probably the peas that I’m never thrilled with…and after reading the comments in the Musings posts that the dish has mayo WITH pesto, my skepticism jumped a little.
This is why I’ve started this group. There are so many Ina recipes that I come across and turn my nose up at because of how my brain processes the combination of ingredients – before allowing my mouth to try the food. And I should know by now how tried and true so many of her recipes are – I should trust more.
Trust I did this week. And I LOVED this dish!! I cut way back on the mayo – to probably about 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp, just enough to help further emulsify the pesto mixture. I halved the recipe and was still left in an insane amount of pesto mixture which I had to throw out because I’m away on business this week and since DH’s bout of “food poisoning” (where I wasn’t sick in the least) with the spinach pesto sauce I made a couple of months ago, he wouldn’t even touch this one. And it’s a shame he won’t eat it but at least I have something to look forward to when I return this weekend! It’s a bigger shame because I made the pesto especially for him without nuts because he’s allergic to them – although the pesto was amazing!! Next time, I’ll consider buying the pesto if I’m in a pinch. I used whole wheat organic pasta and served it alongside a nice lean flank steak I threw on the grill seasoned with some herbes de provençe. What a nice complement to each other! The pesto was outstanding with the steak!!
So that’s it from me this week. As you read this, I’ll be in DC at a conference my job is hosting (and that I planned!) and will return on Saturday. I’ll be keeping up with BB requests as they come in while I’m gone. To see how the other rest of the BB group did with their first recipe, check out the Who’s Turn Is It? page on the BB blog.
May BB recipe: Herbed-Baked Eggs from Barefoot in Paris as chosen by me
Next June recipe (for June 26th): Parmesan Chicken from Barefoot Contessa Family Style as chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures
Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!
- 3/4 pound fusilli pasta
- 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise After halving the recipe, I still only used 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. 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, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
- 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups good olive oil Used just over 2/3 cup
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.
To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.
Yield: 4 cups