Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Power Pesto to suit a weeknight dinner

Where ever I look these days, I hear about power foods; foods that are good for your heart and which contains the nutrients you need. I decided to combine that with my love for Italian food. I have always been intrigued by uncooked sauces and dips and I love making them. After eating pesto at a nearby Italian restaurant, I wanted to make it at home. I searched high and low and finally could get my hands on some pine nuts. But seeing the cost of a fresh bunch of basil and a bag of pine nuts, I changed my mind and saved them for a special occasion. I took the easy route on a weeknight and tried keeping it healthy.

Here is what I have for you : A Spinach Walnut Pesto with whole grain rotini pasta with store bought crab cake. The pesto was power packed with olive oil, spinach, garlic and walnuts. The whole grain pasta took care of the carbohydrate needs. The crab cake was just 145 calories and added some more yum to the menu.If you want to go even healthier, have baked salmon instead. So here you go, have fun cooking it.

Ingredients: Serves 4

Packaged and washed spinach : 3 cups
Walnut : 1/2 cup
Garlic : 2 cloves
Extra virgin olive oil : 1/4 cup
Grated parmesan cheese: 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: You can use any container kind parmesan instead of grating it from a block if needed for a quick solution.
  1. In a pan, dry roast the walnuts. You can smell their nutty taste once they are toasted.
  2. Mince the garlic with the back of your knife.
  3. In a food processor add the walnuts, spinach, parmesan cheese,garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Close the processor lid and start the processor.
  5. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil from the hole in the lid till it reaches a batter or saucy consistency( chunky and not paste like).

Combine the pesto sauce with the cooked pasta(as per box directions) and enjoy it with your choice of seafood or any kind of protein. You can also serve the pesto as an appetizer at your party with slices of store bought bagette.

1 have added some spice:

spendthrift cook said...

Tania not only cooks, but rocks too!

Being a spendthrift, i like the idea of spinach usage instead of basil...)