Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mary Lane's Pasta With Pesto Tomato Sauce

My friend Mary Lane is the President for one of the non-profit boards of which I am a member. She recently hosted a board meeting at her home and served this delicious pasta for lunch. Regular readers know I am addicted to pesto and am always looking for new recipes so I begged her to share. This one is a keeper. Easy, fast, delicious and chock full of greens, it is perfect tossed with hot pasta and equally delicious topping steamed vegetables, potatoes or slathered on toasted french or sourdough bread. Yum!

This pesto recipe combines tomatoes, fresh spinach and Italian parsley with the more typical basil, garlic, walnuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Unlike traditional pestos, this one contains no oil, so it has a very light & fresh taste. I used a gluten-free pasta to ensure my "no pasta, I am avoiding gluten" friends could partake.  We all loved the final result as much as I did at Mary Lane's.

I make 2 tweaks to the original recipe. I seasoned with salt & pepper and added a pinch of hot red pepper flakes. I will experiment with using fresh tomatoes in season and add some sauteed vegetables like red bell peppers, summer squash and/or roasted asparagus. But, trust me, the basic recipe is delicious as is. Enjoy!

Mary Lane's Pasta With Pesto Tomato Sauce 
(6 servings)

1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes (or fresh in season)
2 cups spinach leaves 
1 cup Italian parsley
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for passing at the table
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts (chopped), toasted
1 pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1 lb tubular pasta (like fusilli, penne or rigatoni) cooked according to package directions

Combine the tomatoes, spinach, parsley, basil, garlic 1/2 cup cheese, lemon juice 1/4 cup walnuts and red pepper flakes in a food processor or powerful blender. Pulse until you have a sauce with a bit of texture.

Pour into a large saute pan and simmer over medium-high heat, frequently stirring, until the sauce is hot. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately topped with additional cheese and chopped walnuts.

Click Here For Printer Friendly Recipe

Springtime means the start of sensational side dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network we are celebrating Something Cheesy. Do you have a favorite cheese recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Lemon Bowl: Spelt Salad with Apples, Cheddar and Scallions
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 
Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole with Bacon and Caramelized Onions {Low Carb}
Creative Culinary: 
Cilantro Serrano Rice
Virtually Homemade: 
Stove Top Mac and Cheese with Apples and Bacon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Mary Lane's Pasta With Pesto Tomato Sauce
Red or Green: 
Cheesy Polenta with Spicy Leeks
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Cheesy Beer Bread with Quinoa, Millet and JalapeƱo Peppers
Homemade Delish: 
Cheesy Zucchini and Summer Squash
Daisy at Home: 
Bell Pepper Pizza
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Indian Cottage Cheese & Bell Pepper Quick Stir-Fry
Cheesy Turkey Meatballs
Swing Eats: 
Frico: Parmesan Cheese Crackers (gluten-free)
The Mom 100: 
Leek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche
FN Dish: 
6 Ways to One-Up Side Dish Favorites with Cheese


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

No comments: