{made for dinner} broccoli and pesto pasta

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We have a ton of cookbooks, but because of our handy binder system, we rarely ever look at them. But every now and then we get into a dinner rut and end up combing our cookbooks in desperation. One of our favorites is Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver. It's full of simple recipes with fresh ingredients, and we have yet to find a dud. We discovered this one last week, and everyone loved it. The original calls for tagliatelle but we used gemelli to make it more toddler friendly. We also added garlic, because - well - pasta without garlic should be a crime.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • a large bunch of fresh basil
  • sea salt
  • 1 lb of gemelli pasta
  • 1/4 cup green pesto
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese

Directions:

To prepare your pasta:

  1. Wash and peel the potato and cut it into very thin shavings using a speed peeler
  2. Slice the end off the broccoli stalk
  3. Cut little broccoli florets off the head and put them to one side
  4. Halve the thick stalk lengthways, then slice thinly
  5. Pick the basil leaves and discard the stalks
  6. Grate the Parmesan
  7. Mince the garlic

To cook your pasta

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil
  2. Add the pasta and broccoli stalks and cook according to the instructions on the box
  3. Meanwhile, saute the garlic in the olive oil
  4. 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the broccoli florets and potato slices
  5. Drain everything in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water, and return to the pan
  6. Roughly chop half of your basil leaves and add to the pan with the pesto, garlic, and half the Parmesan
  7. Give it all a good stir and if the sauce is too thick for your, add a splash of the cooking water to thin it out a bit

To serve your pasta:

  1. Divide the pasta between your serving bowls
  2. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan and the remaining basil leaves
  3. Serve with a lovely big bowl of salad, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's cookbook, Jamie's Food Revolution

{made for dinner} recipe round-up

I've been too busy this week to keep up with my Google Reader (and even Pinterest - gasp!), so instead of Link Love I thought I'd recap a few of the recipes we've made lately. I found all of these on Pinterest, and am happy to report that they all turned out very well.

  • Avocado Pesto Pasta on Chef Chloe - Good dairy-free pasta recipes have been surprisingly hard to come by, so my taste buds perked up when I saw this unique take on a traditional pesto pasta. It's super easy to make, and the avocado makes it very smooth and creamy. I was worried the dish would end up tasting too much like avocado, but it's surprisingly subtle and is balanced very nicely by the basil. It does make the pasta pretty rich, though, so small servings are more than enough.
  • Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts on Cooking Light - This pasta is also very tasty, even without the parm (Jared added it to his... lucky guy). The pine nuts and pancetta cook while the water and pasta are boiling, making this a fairly quick weeknight dish. And you could easily substitute bacon for the pancetta.
  • Baked Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs on Tasty Kitchen - These are supposed to be little appetizers for a party, but we made them regular sized and served them over rice and steamed broccoli for dinner. I especially loved the teriyaki sauce, which could be used in a lot of different applications. I'd be interested to try these with ground pork, for a slightly less healthy but tastier alternative.
I hope you all have a great weekend! We're heading up to Seattle for the going away party of two very dear friends who are leaving the rainy Pacific Northwest for sunny California. I'll be very jealous of them until approximately next July. Oh, and I had a wonderful 30th birthday. Pics and a party recap coming soon! (While I'm still 30, I promise.) :-)