Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fusilli with Spicy Pesto

           Oh Giada, what a gem you are. If I had your phone number, I’d call you everyday text you a few words of gratitude for all your yummy recipes.

            I’d also let you know how much I loved this one, no doubt. But since I can’t tell you directly, I’ll do the next best thing…. Dish out the details to those who do listen to me!

            So this recipe….besides being obviously delicious, it really put a kick and spin on our usual pasta dinners. For one, pesto for us is normally a sandwich addition or chicken topper and is normally basil-based. Enter spicy arugula and jalapeno along with salty Asiago and what you have is a pesto that will make your basil shed a tear. And for two, our pasta sauce is rarely prepared in the food processor—I use that toy for pie crust and dips- not for my linguini!

            So when you liven up your pesto and tinker with your sauce prep, what you are left with is a pasta dinner that will have you paying much gratitude to Giada too! Enjoy…


Fusilli with Spicy Pesto
Serves: 2-3
Slightly adapted from: Giada at Home

½ C cup chopped walnuts
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 small red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 C grated (2oz) Asiago cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
½  tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 ounces baby spinach: 2-3 big handfuls
1.5 ounces arugula: 2-3 big handfuls
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

½ pound fusilli pasta
2 oz Asiago cheese, shaved
S & P (salt and pepper), to taste

1. In a food processor combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, 1 C Asiago cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth
2. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil- if too dry, add additional 1 TBS oil and continue to blend
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat
2.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes
3. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water
4. Add pesto mixture to sauté pan, heat thoroughly over medium flame. Add pasta to heated pesto and toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed
5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with 2 oz Asiago cheese shavings and serve
                  ** For a milder pesto, remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper**

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