Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spicy Pesto

Whenever I have free time and watch TV the first station I usually tune into is the Food Network. Some of my favorite shows include Giada at Home with Giada De Laurentiis, Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten, and Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger.

Over the summer my parent's grew herbs outside in the backyard. We ended up with a ton of basil and made pesto in bulk to freeze. Basil is expensive to buy, especially for the amount you need to make a batch of pesto! About a month ago I was watching Giada at Home and saw she was making a pesto. It definitely was not your traditional pesto. The pesto did not involve basil. The greens used were arugula, spinach, and a jalapeno! It also uses asiago cheese instead of parmesan, and walnuts instead of pine nuts. The recipe on the Food Network
website is Fusilli with Spicy Pesto. The ingredients needed for the pesto are:


  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2-inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Just mix the ingredients in a food processor (or blender). If you don't want want it too spicy you just have to remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper. I ended up removing a majority in them since I don't like things to be too spicy- BUT I actually wish I left atleast half, if not all of the seeds in. There just wasn't enough kick! I also served it with a pasta called Cavatappi instead of Fusilli. You can use any pasta you want! I also used chicken. You can use shrimp, tofu, or any other meats, as well.

Best part about the meal is that it is simple and doesn't take long to make! Dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes!

Molly Jean

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