VANILLA LATTE is a blog dedicated to food & travel with occasional random stuff thrown in. It is managed and written by me, Maggie Ha.

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Pea & Spinach Pesto Pasta 17May09

Pea & Spinach Pesto Pasta

I was sorta on a pasta kick lately because I was training for the half marathon. I think I take carbo loading a little too seriously. It’s the one time when I have a good excuse to eat lots of pasta, so why not! I’ve been using bucatini a lot lately because a.) I bought quite a few boxes and b.) I love the thickness/strawness! You try to slurp but you can’t cause it’s hallow! Great alternative to spaghetti!

Anyway, this recipe is really quick and pretty healthy. Well, at least I tried to make it really healthy. I only used a little bit of cheese in the pesto. I guess the only thing that’s “bad” is the extra virgin olive oil… which most cultures will say that it’s good for you! Such a quick and simple dish, it’s perfect for dinners during the week. Hope you enjoy it!

1/2 package of bucatini or spaghetti
2 shallots, sliced
1 bunch of spinach, washed and leaves only
3/4 cup of frozen peas
2 cups packed of fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper
sea salt
red chili flakes (optional)

Step 1: Pasta & pesto!
Cook pasta in a boiling pot of water until al dente. Make sure you add a dash of salt to the boiling water to add a little flavor. While that is cooking, you can start on your pesto! In a food processor or in a mortar and pestle, add in the basil leaves after chopping roughly, finely chopped garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle in a bit of oil while you mix or chop. Add about 3 tablespoons until a nice thick paste. Pesto ready!

Step 2: Combine!
In a medium saucepan, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Once heated, toss in the sliced shallots and cook till transparent. Now toss in the frozen peas straight from the freezer and roll them around until softened. Lower the heat to low. Now add in the pasta and pour in the pesto. Mix it all around to get everything coated. Now grab a few leaves of spinach and stick it in the pasta in random pockets around the pan. This will wilt the spinach without making it too soggy. After cooking the spinach, toss and you’re ready to serve!

I like serving with some red chili flakes and a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. But feel free to add some more Parmesan cheese!

Pea & Spinach Pesto Pasta



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Ground Support

My local favorite is currently Ground Support in SOHO. I go there almost every day for a smooth creamy soy cappuccino or if it’s hot out an iced soy latte. When I’m not in a hurry to run out, I try to take a few extra minutes to enjoy the coffee in the shop… you know, chat with the staff, catch up on some calls and best of all… people watch. Always some interesting characters in NYC!

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