February 1, 2014

Taste: Artichoke Pesto Farfalle


Artichoke Pesto Farfalle.

Happy Superbowl weekend! I always try to think of something festive to make that doesn't lead with a zillion bad calories. Why is Superbowl food so, well, unhealthy? We're mixing it up this weekend with a ridiculously good pasta. Bless you, Giada, you've done it again.

This Artichoke Pesto Farfalle is a twist on this recipe from Giada's Feel Good Food. I've swapped a few ingredients: farfalle pasta for orzo, diced tomatoes instead of cherry, subtracted the corn (I have a thing about corn), added in pine nuts, that sort of thing. Also, my sister made this the other night, and she added shrimp for a bit of protein. She says it was a hit! The possibilities are endless, but this is a good recipe to have on hand... plus, it's kind of Spring-y, which is always nice when I'm staring out the window at the eternity of snow. At least I can trick my taste buds into thinking that we are almost into warm weather season :-) So... goooooo (insert your team here)!


Ingredients:
- 1 lb. Farfalle pasta (or whatever kind of fancy pasta you prefer!)
- 1 12-oz. jar Artichoke hearts (you could also use frozen, just make sure they're thawed before you cook)
- 2 cups diced Tomatoes (you can use fresh or canned, but if they're canned, make sure you drain them completely before using)
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

For the Pesto:
- 3/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Walnuts
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional, but I just love them)
- 1/2 fresh flat-leaf Parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh Oregano
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh Lemon juice (basically the juice from an entire lemon)
- 1 clove Garlic, smashed
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper


Method:
1. Cook your preferred pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. For the pesto, combine the following ingredients in your food processor: 2 cups of the artichokes, the walnuts, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper and olive oil.

3. Pulse all the ingredients until blended smoothly. You might have to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to blend everything evenly. This should take a few minutes. Set pesto aside.

4. Chop the remaining artichoke hearts into 3/4-inch pieces and add to the pesto. Add in the (drained) diced tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Ta da! Your ridiculously delicious dinner is served. The dish itself is so pretty to look at with all the colors, but like I said, you can dress it up a bit more with your preferred protein. I think this is a great option to have on hand on game day, when you might have more than a few (hungry) dudes showing up at the house. Now you have something healthier to serve than chips and queso :-)


Yum yum yum. I want to eat this all over again.
Enjoy your weekend, friends!

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