Monday, June 28, 2010

Spicy Pesto

This is a pretty non-traditional pesto recipe, but it was so delicious. I saw it of course on Giada's show last week and since I have recently purchased a beautiful new food processor, it was really simple to make. There are so many variations of pestos, and once you see how truly quick and fresh it is, you will have fun experimenting with different ingredients. A traditional pesto usually is garlic, basil, pine nuts, and olive oil. This one uses walnuts instead of pine nuts and adds in the chili and arugula for the kick. If you don't like it spicy, then just leave the chili out. I think an added health benefit is the spinach. It really doesn't add flavor, but its an incredible way to get greens into this pasta dish.

  • 1 cup raw walnuts

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 (2 inch long) pepper - I used one of Michael's black chilies from the garden but Giada originally used a jalapeno

  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (original recipe calls for 2 cups, but I thought it was delicious with just the 1 and that cut out a lot of calories)

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 3 cups baby spinach

  • 2 cups arugula

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Look how gorgeous that green is! Toss 1 pound of warm pasta (I use whole wheat fusili) with the pesto. If it appears too thick, add a few spoonfuls of pasta water and mix to thin out the sauce. Garnish with a bit more of the Parmesan and serve. I think if you are going to eat pasta, this has to be one of the healthiest ways with the omegas of the olive oil, walnuts, and plenty of fiber if you choose a great pasta! I hope you like it.



No comments:

Post a Comment