Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Linguine with Pea Pesto

A friend is visiting from out of town, so I've been fairly busy this week. A lot has been happening in the kitchen though. Though our approaches to cooking are different (she's precise where I'm slapdash), she's managed to show me how to go about making a cheesecake. Perhaps one will show up on this site sometime in the future :)
Anyway, I've been cooking for 2 lately (which has been something of a new experience) and last night I finally got around to making that pea pesto I've been wanting to try out. It's bright green and very cheerful-looking. Sorry, no pictures. A couple of other projects were going on at the same time and the kitchen was really busy. I had about a foot of counter space to work with, and was sharing the range with two other people.
If I made this again, I think I'd add more garlic. And slice up a tomato to go on the side. Otherwise, it's really good:

Linguine with Pea Pesto
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 pkg frozen peas
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 t salt, plus more for pasta water
1/3 c olive oil
12 oz dried linguine

Defrost the peas and boil them for about 2 minutes. Drain and let cool to lukewarm. Reserve 1/2 cup of the peas, and put the rest in a food processor with the garlic, sunflower seeds, oil, salt, and 1/3 c of the cheese. Run the food processor until the ingredients form a smooth paste (if you don't have a food processor, you can put the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash them with a potato masher. If you don't have a potato masher, the bottom of a glass bottle or jar works fairly well. Just be sure to wash it first).

Cook the linguine in heavily salted water until it's done ("al dente!" for some reason that phrase makes me laugh). Reserve 2 c of the pasta water, drain the pasta, and put it back in the pot over moderate heat. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding in pasta water to smooth out the pesto and distribute it evenly over the pasta. Garnish with the rest of the cheese.

toasting nuts- you can do this in the oven, but that method's really only practical if you're needing to toast a LOT of nuts at once (or have another project going on that needs your full attention). Instead of using the oven, just put the nuts in a frying pan over medium-high heat and stir them until they're a nice golden-brown. It's so much easier and doesn't heat up the house as much.

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