Do you ever conjure up brilliant ideas while lying in bed, trying to fall asleep?
Or at least, ideas that seem brilliant at the time.
For a while, I even kept a notepad next to my bed so that I could write down those ideas.
Today’s recipe is one of those late-night ideas. You tell me whether it’s brilliant or not. 😉
Initially, this was meant to be a P-P-P Pesto: Pea-Parmesan-Pistachio Pesto. (I’m a grammar nerd and kind of love alliteration.) But then I decided I didn’t want to strain the grocery budget by spending five dollars on a tiny bag of pistachios, and straight parmesan cheese is more expensive than an Italian blend.
If you want to try the Triple “P” Pesto just for fun, go for it! Let me know how it is. But you know what? The buttery flavor of cashews and the moist texture of the Italian cheese blend work wonders in the Pea Pesto. Wonders. You don’t need those expensive pistachios and parmesan.
One more note on this recipe: So when I looked at my notepad the next morning, I was so excited about the pea pesto! I don’t know if I’ve told you before how much I LOVE peas, but it’s a strong love. I eat any kind of pea, prepared any way, and I eat very large helpings of them. So to me, a pea pesto was like… pure genius. A match made in heaven.
But then, as I was watching Rachael Ray that morning, guess what she made. Go ahead, guess.
Yeah, she made a pesto with peas.
My heart sank a little. Here I thought I had this brilliant, original idea of a recipe, and then I saw Rachael Ray make it that. same. day. Her recipe was a little different, but I was still bummed that my idea wasn’t as original as I thought.
Oh well! I love peas, I love Rachael Ray, and I’m pretending I didn’t see her show that day. 😉
- 3 c. frozen peas, divided
- 3 c. uncooked short cut pasta (I used macaroni this time, but I love using rotini and farfalle for this dish. Use whatever kind you like!)
- 1 c. cooking water (The water you used to cook the pasta– it helps the sauce bind to the pasta and marry the flavors.)
- 1/2 c. shredded Italian blend cheese
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1/4 c. + 1 T. cashews
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional additions: 2 c. chopped chicken, shrimp, or sausage
- grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Place all the peas in a small saucepan with enough water to just cover the peas, bring the water to a boil, and boil them for five minutes. While the peas cook, bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Then add the pasta, and cook it al dente according to the package directions.
- When the peas are done, make the pesto. Place two cups of the peas in a food processor with the cheese, cashews, oil, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. Taste, and add more salt and pepper to your liking.
- When the pasta is cooked, reserve one cup of the starchy cooking water, drain the rest, then pour the noodles back into the pot or into a serving dish.
- Add the pesto and the remaining peas (and meat, if using) to the pasta along with a splash of the cooking water. Stir until well incorporated, adding more cooking water as necessary to bind the pesto to the pasta. You should use around a half cup or so.
- This dish is best when served immediately, but it can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. It’s great topped with a little grated parmesan cheese. Recipe yields about six servings.
Not only is this recipe delicious, quick & easy to make, cheap, and healthy, but it’s also green! So if you’re festive and looking for green recipes to make on St. Patrick’s Day, here’s your dish!
What fun foods will you be making to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
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