Thursday, March 19, 2009

Girl's night home alone-- My fast food is Parsley Pesto Pasta with Peas

Do not adjust your monitor. You are not seeing double (from yesterday). The only encore ingredient is leftover campanelle pasta from last night's Spring Pasta. I'm home alone, and I am cooking for just me. Ha! That means I can eat whatever I want. My husband's idea of cooking for himself is to pour a bowl of Frosted Flakes-- better yet, a bowl of chips and a cold beer. Me? I need something fast, easy and flavorful. What could I make with that pasta, I thought...

So, then I got to thinking-- how hard could it be to make my own pesto sauce? I've seen it done, many times. All you need is fresh basil, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts (or walnuts). I had everything I needed--except for fresh basil. My husband says he "hates" pesto. I could never get a sensible answer as to why, but I accepted that and I've never made any kind of pesto recipe for him. So tonight was the night for me to see what pesto pasta is all about--

Then I thought... hmmmm, my Italian parsley bush is growing like crazy. I was thinking of making a chimichurri sauce soon....but could I make a parsley pesto sauce?

I gathered up my ingredients and headed to my garden.

I added all of my ingredients, except for the olive oil. I drizzled the olive oil, while pureeing everything in my 30 year old Cuisinart (what a faithful kitchen tool this has been for me).

That didn't take long! I tasted it. Hmmm, a little "bitter"... kind of like eating a lawn.
Oh yeah! Marjoram! I remember seeing a recipe for Parsley and Marjoram pesto. So, I cut some fresh marjoram:

I added the marjoram leaves to the pesto, and tasted it. Success! (I could sure taste the garlic...whoo!)
In a pan, I added the pasta (that I had gently reheated), some thawed peas, about 2 Tbsp of pesto and some fresh lemon zest-- and then a pinch of red pepper flakes.

This is my idea of fast food! Simple, fresh, flavorful-- much better than a bowl of Frosted Flakes.

Only one problem-- I think I should have cut back on the garlic cloves. Hopefully my husband will taste this dish, so that his garlic will cancel out mine. I love garlic. I just hope that my husband does, tonight. Or, I'll be facing away from him in bed.

I'm going to freeze the rest of the pesto in an ice tray, and then store it in a zip-loc bag. I can think of other possibilities to use this pesto in other recipes. I'll bet anything that my husband doesn't even realize why his food will taste so good...unless he reads this blog. He usually doesn't, though-- so it's our little secret.

I'm sold. Pesto is easy to make, and I can see a lot of possibilities. While I love basil, this was a fun way to use my herbs that are thriving in this mild pre-spring California weather.

Spring Herb Pesto and Pasta

I had some leftover cooked pasta and I wanted a ...

See Spring Herb Pesto and Pasta on Key Ingredient.

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Culinary Wannabe said...

Although I'm usually from your husband's camp, this looks puts my bowl of cereal to shame! And pesto can be used on so many yummy things, it's a great thing to have in the fridge.

Donna-FFW said...

Awesome idea, Debby. It looks soo very delicious. Stop by my blog andenter the giveaway if youget a minute. I have to try your version of pesto!

Elyse said...

What a perfect way to treat yourself on a night that you have all to yourself! Isn't pesto so easy--and so deliciou?? Your pasta and pesto look just fabulous. I certainly would've kept you company over this meal!!

mamakd said...

Yum! I love cooking just for myself and using leftovers! What a great use of leftovers. I just love pesto, I will have to try your version. It sounds so fresh and tasty!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Nothing like re-defining the term "fast food!" How about "incredibly fresh fast food?" The pesto and pasta looks wonderful!