Monday, May 30, 2011

Dinosaur Pasta (Pesto)

My young son loves two things for sure.  He loves dinosaurs and he loves this pasta.  My son is a picky eater and he definitely is not a fan of vegetables.  But he devours this pesto pasta dish that is full of spinach.  Well, I'm not ashamed to say it, I tricked him.  It told him that spinach is the kind of food dinosaurs ate.  That was all I had to say.   This is a pretty healthy dish full of creamy pesto.  I am not into dinosaurs, but I really enjoy this pasta too!

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.

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

To make the Dinosaur Pasta: 
Boil any 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. 

Add some red pepper flakes (to taste)

Add 1/2lb of frozen spinach and cook until heated well. 

Add your cup of starchy cooking water (I used it to rinse out the food processor 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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