Monday, July 4, 2011

Home Made Spinach Pasta with Pesto and Veggies

 The first time I ever had pesto... I fell in love. My mom gets credit for yet another recipe! There is nothing like fresh home made pesto it beats the jarred stuff hands down.
Every summer my mom and I used to get a giant bunch of basil from the market and make a monster batch of pesto (I'm talking a food processor full) We would divide it up into ice cube trays and freeze it then pop em out and store in a big freezer bag until we were ready to use it. This is such a good way to have fresh pesto all year long.
Okay so the second part of this recipe is pasta! Who doesn't LOVE pasta? I could eat it every day, breakfast lunch and dinner! Home made pasta is so easy and worth it. The first time Dan and I made it we didn't have a pasta roller yet (or even a rolling pin for that matter) so we rolled the dough out with a wine bottle and cut the pasta using a ruler and knife. Well I know have a roller(thanks to Dan) and I love it.

 Spinach Pasta with Pesto, Red peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms

Pasta Dough 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour (preferably 00 flour but all purpose will work)
  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach
  • Luke warm water
  • 3 large garlic cloves(or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cups Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups fresh basil
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • 1 red pepper chopped julienne
  • 1 small onion chopped julienne
  • 6 or 7 white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful of pine nuts

 To make pesto
Makes 1 1/3 cup

If you are making a single batch a mini food processor will work perfectly. While the food processor is running drop the garlic in so it is finely chopped. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil. Turn on the food processor until everything is finely chopped. With motor running add oil and blend well.

The pesto should be able to keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

You will probably not need all of the pesto for this pasta dish (it varies depending on how much you like on your pasta)

To make pasta.
Take your frozen spinach and once thawed squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and chop it up.
Place your flour in a bowl or on a flat surface and make a well in it. Place your eggs in the well.
(I realize this picture has 3 eggs, This picture is from another day when I made a bigger batch)

With a fork start to beat the eggs and slowly incorporate the flour.
(your dough should start to look like this)
Add your chopped spinach. if the dough is too dry add a little luke warm water. Knead the dough with your hands then make it into a ball place in a zip lock bag and stick it in the fridge for about 20 min.

Once the dough has sat pull it out and roll it with your pasta roller and make it as thin a possible. Then run it through the cutting side of the pasta roller (I don't know the technical term for this)

Set the cut pasta aside (hanging it is best) You can hang it on a fancy dancy pasta hanger or even a plastic clothing hanger will work.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, while you are waiting for the water to boil, place your vegetables in a frying pan on medium/low heat with a drizzle of olive oil garlic, salt and pepper. Leave the vegetables on the burner until just cooked through, you want them to still taste fresh and not completely wilted.
When your water boils toss your pasta in until al dente. Drain the pasta and stir in the pesto.

Place a handful of pine nuts on a small baking dish and put them in the toaster oven on 400F until they JUST start to brown (keep an eye on them as they will burn easily.
Plate your pasta, top it with vegetables and a sprinkle of pine nuts and Parmesan.

Now for the best part, DIG IN!!!

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