Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinosaur Pesto Pasta

The Pesto Sauce:
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
3 cloves of grated garlic
2 cups of Italian Basil
1/2 cup of Italian Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Notes:  I use walnuts in this pesto because they are frankly a lot less expensive than pine nuts.  I always have walnuts in my freezer.  If you prefer, you can substitute pine nuts.

Directions:  Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until it forms a thick sauce.

To make the Dinosaur Pasta: 

1lb of any shape pasta
1 cup of starchy pasta water (reserved from boiling the pasta)
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/2 frozen spinach
salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup of cream or half and half 
Pesto sauce from above recipe (as much as you like, I used all of it)

Boil pasta until el dente in salted water.  I used Rigatoni. Save 1 cup of the starchy pasta water to help make your Pesto Sauce.   In a large pan, heat the pesto on medium heat.  Then add some red pepper flakes (to taste).   Next add 1/2lb of frozen spinach and cook until heated well.  Finally add your cup of starchy cooking water (I used it to rinse out the food processor that I made the Pesto in first) and 1/2 cup of cream or half and half.  Make the sauce and taste for seasoning. Toss with the pasta.
Serve 4-6 people.  Enjoy

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