When it comes to dinner, my husband would be fine with pasta or pizza every night. So what’s a girl with a sophisticated palate to do when she craves more than just marinara and mozzarella? I can only make my spaghetti and meat sauce so many times! Luckily, while experimenting in my kitchen (which I’m notorious for doing), I stumbled upon a winner in both mine and his cookbooks… a delicious mixed herb and walnut pesto over organic spinach pasta with sautéed red and yellow bell peppers and red onion...the perfect pasta dish for summer that is sure to please all palates! This, my friends, is what I like to call compromise… an essential ingredient when it comes to a successful marriage.
By the way...this is Pascale, RAADSTYLE's newest contributor and older sister to the talented/ lovely Chantale. I have been out of commission due to my all-consuming recent nuptials… but now I’m here to help kick off this sultry summer, Raad-style. While Chanty continues to translate the latest trends, I will open my humble home to share some domestic stylings of my own. We will also hit the streets of Scottsdale, discovering the coolest to-dos and finds that this town has to offer. We invite you to follow us… two sisters and our rad approach to life. Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, though... Although I changed my last name, I will never lose my identity. But just for good measure, I decided to keep "Raad" as my middle name instead ;)
I got this Green-On-Green Pesto recipe from The Newlywed Cookbook. This book is fantastic and full of great tips for newlyweds and single gals alike. Here is the recipe with a few notes and add-ons of my own…
- ½ cup/50 g pine nuts or walnuts (I used walnuts)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 3 handfuls fresh basil leaves, arugula/rocket, parsley, mustard leaves or a combination (RAADTIP: this is where having a little windowsill herb garden comes in handy. Who doesn’t prefer the flavor of freshly snipped herbs?! I used oregano, basil, mint and some arugula leaves.)
- ½ cup/60 g freshly grates Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ½ cup/75 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pasta: Garden Time Organic Fancy Ribbons with Spinach (available at Whole Foods). You can use any pasta you like.
- Red and yellow bell peppers
- Red onion
- Greek style feta
- Lemon and/or lime
Pulse together the nuts, garlic, greens, and about half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a food processor until the greens are finely chopped. Pulse in the olive oil to make a smooth paste and continue until the pesto is evenly combined. (If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the nuts, garlic and greens on your cutting board before stirring together in a bowl with the cheese and olive oil.) Season with salt and pepper. Taste the sauce. You may want to add the remaining cheese, or extra salt or pepper. This is your sauce and it’s worth learning how to make it the way you like it. If you prefer it thinner and plan to use immediately, add one to two tablespoons of warm water. I used fresh lemon juice instead and it turned out amazing! If you aren’t using it immediately, cover surface with additional olive oil and plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Pesto stores well for about a week in the fridge, but make sure to to top it off with extra virgin olive oil every time you use it so the vibrant green doesn’t discolor.
Mix the pesto into the pasta. Then, sauté some red and yellow bell peppers and red onions and toss the veges into the mix. Serve with some fresh feta (the vegetarian traditional Greek recipe by 365, also found at Whole Foods, is the most delicious and creamy feta I have ever tasted!) and splash of lime for an extra kick! So good, I almost forgot I was eating another pasta dish!