Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Artichoke and Spinach Pesto Pasta

Spring is in the air!!!! Borderline summer actually. Today was quite hot, but I'll take it over cold. The perfect warm/sunny days and cool nights are the perfect growing season for some of my favorite things... spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes! In fact last week my mom so kindly came and cleaned up my vegetable garden for me and planted spinach, parsley, kale and broccoli. I went out to water them the other night and they were GONE! A rabbit ate them all. Guess I'm not the only one who loves Spring veggies.

This is a Rachel Ray recipe (courtesy of my sister's friend) that I followed pretty closely, except I ended up using a can of artichokes (not marinated). See how I have both the can and the real artichoke?? I was hoping to be ballsy enough to figure out how to cut up the real artichoke to use. I watched a couple youtube videos but they were all different. Then when it came down to dinner time I had two kids sword fighting with butter knives at my ankles and said screw it, and opened the can. One day...

Spring Artichoke and Spinach Pesto Pasta
1 box of penne

4 cups packed (1 large package) baby spinach

1/4 cup almonds

1/2 cup parm, freshly grated

a few dashes of nutmeg

zest from 1 lemon and the juice from half

1 can artichoke hearts or 1 pound of fresh artichoke hearts

2 to 3 cloves chopped garlic

1/2 cup white wine

olive oil

salt and pepper

First get your pasta boiling. Then get started on the pesto. I don't have a food processor but my blender makes perfect margaritas, pestos, and baby food :) I bet yours works fine too! Put all the ingredients for the pesto in the blender... HALF of the spinach, almonds, lemon zest, lemon juice, parm, salt, pepper, and about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Blend, and stream in about 1/4 cup of olive oil as you blend it. You might have to work with your blender a little (if youre ghetto like me and don't own a food processor) - stop and stir it up a few times, or add more pasta water if it really won't budge - before it really gets going....

...annnd looks like this! My kids wouldn't try/didn't like the straight green pesto BUT I mixed it in with some jarred red sauce and they had no idea they were licking up spoonfuls of spinach. muahaha.

In a saute pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the artichokes and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Then add the white wine.

Stir in the remaining spinach until it wilts.

Then simply add your penne to the saute pan, add the pesto, and stir everything around. Serve it with some of the freshly grated parm.

And here's someproof that your kid might actually think green pasta is cool. Unfortunately this wonderful child doesn't belong to me. My friend's kid was over playing and she said "Ms Karen! Can I please have some of that delicious green pasta!!" And she gobbled it up!
Not much to say about running these days... I'm running/walking now and Im just thankful for the Spring weather and the beautiful mornings that I get to enjoy a few times a week. I'm just thankful to be outside, and be moving, no matter how slow that happens to be!! Hope you are enjoying this Spring weather too... whether its outside exercising or inside cooking up some of these amazing Spring veggies.

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