Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pesto Pasta

A friend of mine gets a ton of free pasta from his friend, who supplies the big grocers like Superstore, Safeway, Save-on and Olivieri. My family doesn't normally buy the pre-made, filled pastas... we usually just stick to the dehydrated boxed spaghetti, rotini, fuscilli and linguini. So, when my friend told me that he was sick of pasta and offered me an entire box of tortellini I jumped at the offer. For dinner tonight we decided to try these filled pastas, but weren't sure what kind of sauce to pair it up with. My parents decided on a bottled Alfredo sauce, but I wasn't going to let this chance to be creative with pasta get away from me.

I had always wanted to try making my own pesto; and it looking at the ingredients list, it didn't seem too time consuming or too expensive. So I set off to gather all the ingredients necessary.

Pesto Pasta

- 700-750g box of filled tortellini
- 1 recipe of pesto (recipe to follow)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 stalks of asparagus, chopped into 2-inch pcs and boiled
- 1 orange pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning (or Mrs. Dash)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, removing them from the boiling water about 1 minute before they are completely finished cooking. Drain pasta, set aside.

2. Meanwhile, fry garlic in olive oil and add in the boiled asparagus, orange pepper and mushrooms; fry but don't allow vegetables to become soft. Add italian seasoning to the vegetables continue to fry for 1 minute.

3. In a large skillet, fry the vegetable mixture and the pasta over medium heat; coat the pasta well with the vegetables and oil.

4. Add in pesto gradually, by the tablespoon, and stir to coat the pasta. Continue to add enough pesto to add a fragrant taste to your dish. Once the taste is as you like it, remove pasta from heat, place on serving plates and garnish with pine nuts.

- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 cups basil leaves , roughly chopped
- 1/2 cups parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste

1. Add garlic, basil, parley and oil to a blender/food processor and pulse until it forms a thick paste. Add more oil, or water if necessary to blend the ingredients.

2. Remove the herb paste from the food processor and combine it with the parmesan cheese in a small bowl; add in salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while you cook the pasta and veggies.

My parents were content with their alfredo tortellini, but I quite enjoyed this pesto dish. The pasta was fragrant, but not too strong that it over-powered the taste of the pasta. After eating my pesto pasta, I tried a little bit of the alfredo pasta and found it way too salty. My mom and dad were adventurous enough to sample my dish, but my sisters didn't find the idea of green pasta appetizing... oh, kids... so funny. I had some pesto left over from dinner and decided to save it for later use. I think I'll have some tomorrow, with some french bread or cheese and crackers... wow, so classy :P

1 comment:

Kheedci said...

Pesto sauce is one of my favorites in my pasta. Suprisingly, my younger brother likes its tastes as well! :) Mind you, he is nowhere near a vegetable eater.
Nice post! :)