Where is the best place to sample yummy recipes you have never made before? You got it!…Church!! I sampled this recipe during VBS at our church a couple of summers ago. It was so delicious; I just had to get the recipe. Interesting enough, this recipe belongs to Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa. Her recipe is called Pasta, Pesto and Pea Salad, but I love the fact that it has spinach in it so I decided to rearrange the recipe name a little for my own sake.
I had a family reunion this past weekend and decided to pull out my recipe and make this again. I have been on this “salad” kick this summer – anything like chichen salad, cole slaw, pasta salad, potato salad. I am not sure what is wrong with me, but I guess it is better than being on a cake or cookie baking kick, right?
3/4 pound fussilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or made fresh
1 – 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook fussilli and bow tie pastas separately in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain the pastas and place into a big bowl with the olive oil. Stir around to coat well. This will help keep the pasta from sticking together. Cool to room temperature.
2. In a food processor, puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice.
3. Add in the mayonnaise and puree until well blended.
4. Add the pesto-mayo mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmeson, peas, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste and serve at room temperature.
Notes: I encourage anyone making pasta dishes to please go the extra mile to purchase good olive oil. Also, my husband loves Parmesan cheese so it doesn’t bother me to add more cheese than the recipes directs.
Recipe Source: Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa