Friday, January 7, 2011
Pesto time - one of my favorite pasta dishes, and each time I make a pesto, I like to try something a little bit different. A few months ago, last time I made a pesto dish, I was visiting my parents in Rochester and we made a spicy pesto with caramelized U12 scallops, which was delicious. Yesterday, I received my most recent shipment of food from ShopRite as part of the Potluck Blog Panel. Each of the shipments have a theme, and the theme this month was the 40th anniversary of the ShopRite Can-Can Sale which was a winter sale on canned food that started in the 1970s after the holidays where customers would stock up on canned food for the winter.
This is the perfect time of year for some quality canned products in the dead of winter in the northeast (hello, I think blizzard number two is coming this weekend) since fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce this time of year. I was planning on making a simple fettuccine pesto for dinner, but decided to jazz it up with the delicious can of sweet peas that I found in the box. I had never head peas in my pesto before, but it was a perfect combination and a wholesome and delicious dish. I made my pesto from scratch. I like to experiment with different pestos, including a hazelnut pesto, but this time I did a traditional basil pesto. If you wish, you could add caramelized scallops to this dish, but I kept it vegetarian this time, and mixed in some goat cheese, which adds a light and creamy texture to the pesto and is much healthier than heavy cream.
Sasha's Sweet Pea Pesto
Bunch of fresh basil, stems removed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 oz fresh vermont goat cheese, crumbled
fresh pasta (I bought fresh fettuccine rather than the boxed kind for this recipe)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of ShopRite little gem sweet peas
First prepare the pesto in a food processor by pureeing the olive oil with the basil and pine nuts until smooth. Set aside and cook the pasta and warm up the sweet peas in a pot. Mix in the sweet peas and goat cheese with the pasta, and mix the pesto to coat. That's it - this is a nice and easy dish which is perfect for wintertime and is simple, easy and heathy, too!