Barefoot Bloggers: Pasta, Pesto and Peas

I’m barely getting in under the wire for this edition of Barefoot Bloggers. I didn’t realize until this morning when browsing my feeds that today was the day to post, and didn’t get the ingredients I needed to make it until a few hours ago.

So, what did I think of the recipe? It was pretty good, and this is coming from someone who isn’t a huge pesto fan. I changed a couple of small things – my jar of pesto was 10 oz, so I just used that and cut the lemon to 2 tbsp. and the mayo to 1 cup, and it came out fine. But honestly, it’s got to be one of the ugliest dishes I’ve ever seen in my life, both to look at and to photograph. So I did the best I could with the material I had to work with. 😉


Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
recipe courtesy Ina Garten

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
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
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.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

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

4 thoughts on “Barefoot Bloggers: Pasta, Pesto and Peas

  1. Kate

    Sounds yummy! The ugliest dish I’ve ever made included a mushroom-based sauce that was all grey and nasty-looking. It did taste great, however.

  2. VinnieG

    I have to agree. . .when I finished making this I was somewhat horrified at the way it looked but it did taste a whole lotta good!

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