Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walnut Sage Pesto Pasta

I don't know about you, but I am completely on board with the Groupon and Living Social craze.  I check it out every day and have gotten some really awesome deals!  One of my favorites was a one year subscription to Martha Stewart Whole Living magazine... for $10.  Pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.  I'm really enjoying the magazine so far and have gotten a few recipe ideas, this pesto pasta being one of them.  A great thing about the recipes is they always have the nutritional facts and calories counts.  Although this is a pasta dish, there's 464 calories per serving - I cut it back a little by using whole wheat pasta and I didn't add extra cheese to mine.  For how delicious it turns out, it's really hard to believe it's only 464 calories.
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet and toast until lightly brown, around eight minutes.  You'll know when they're done, you'll be able to smell them.  Remove and set aside to cool.
Chop 1/4 cup of fresh parsley.
Mince one large garlic clove.
The recipe calls for a tablespoon of whole sage leaves, I couldn't find whole ones in the store so I just used the above, and I'm not sure you'd be able to tell the difference.
 VERY excited to use my food processor for the first time!  Took me a little while to get it all together, but eventually I got the hang of it and it was ready to go.
After you have all of your veggies and spices chopped up, start cooking the pasta.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.  Meanwhile combine the parsley, sage, garlic, salt, black pepper and walnuts in the food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Drizzle in the olive oil and blend well.  Add three tablespoons of Parmesan and pulse to combine.
Transfer pesto to a serving bowl and add 1/3 cup of the cooking water.  Add the pasta and toss to combine.  Add the remaining pasta water if necessary.  Top with additional cheese and black pepper if you like.
I was a little nervous it would be dry because there really isn't a "sauce," but the water mixed in with the pesto worked well.  It coated the pasta just enough, and tasted amazing.  Baking the walnuts beforehand really brings out their flavor!  I'm all about quick week night meals, as I don't have an endless amount of time when I get home from work, and this dish fits perfectly into that idea.  Quick, tasty and good for you.  Much appreciated Martha!

Walnut Sage Pesto Pasta
1/3 cup walnuts
1 9oz package pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 packed tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, around 8 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Drain, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
Combine the parsley, sage, garlic, salt, pepper and walnuts in a blender or food processor.
Pulse until finely chopped.
Drizzle in olive oil and blend well.
Add 3 tablespoons Parmesan, and pulse to combine.
Transfer pesto to a serving bowl and add 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
Add the pasta and toss to combine, adding remaining water if necessary.
Top with remaining cheese and black pepper to taste.

1 comment:

  1. Yum. I had pesto tonight and as I started weight waters, my points start to add up. Mine had oil in it and this would be a good way to conserve points. Thanks!