25 June 2011

pea pesto

Believe it or not, I have another green veggie + starch recipe for you! This one recently came up and I knew it'd be a nice quick dinner. Peas and parmesan cheese -- such a crowd pleaser!

As I continue blogging, I want to better equip myself for it. First with camera work, then more camera stuff, then promising myself that I'll someday build a light box for my dim little apartment, buying fabric to make cute placemats, and now... plates. I want a whole pile of mis-matched plates. Yes, that's right, just to make the blog more fun to look at (Readers, I'm telling you, I care that much!). Problem: the cool ones are either a) expensive, or b) come in sets of four. Well, that won't do. I have been surfing the Etsy for options, but I think my plan of attack is going to involve some trips to the flea market. Step One: Find flea markets! Cheap cheap!!

Pea Pesto
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Linguine with Pea Pesto)

1 1/2 cups (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) fresh pea or a 10-ounce package frozen peas, defrosted
3 medium garlic cloves
2 tablespoons toasted almonds
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more for pasta water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
12 ounces dried pasta
Garnish: thinly sliced mint leaves

1. Cook your peas, let cool a bit.
2. Cook your pasta, don't forget to salt the water after it comes to a boil. Reserve a cup of cooking water. Once al dente, return pasta to the pot.
3. Once the water is boiling, skewer the garlic onto a bamboo skewer and blanche them for 30 seconds, then run under cold water.
4. Set aside 1/2 cup of your cooked peas. Whirl the remaining cup of peas in the work bowl of a food processor (Magic Bullet! I'm telling you people!!) with garlic, almonds, chili flakes, 1/3 cup parmesan, olive oil, and salt until smooth.
5. Over moderate heat, toss pasta with pesto, reserved peas and as much reserved pasta water as needed to smooth and distribute pesto; let cook for one minute so that the pesto adheres.
6. Adjust salt to taste, add freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with mint and more parm.

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