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Hello everyone! Well, as you may or may not have read on Facebook, I am out of town on vacation and have enlisted the help of some very dear food blogger friends for some guest posts this week and next. It’s been a very busy few weeks and even though I am in Mexico relaxing and soaking in the sun, the next several weeks upon my return will be crazy busy. After my vacation, I head straight to Dallas to see my parents and to spend some time with my mother, before her kidney transplant surgery. And then, we head back home to get ready to sell the house and move.

Drumroll please. . . we are moving to Madison, WI.

I think when people are going through tough times or simply need some help, your family may be the first ones you turn to for help. And then, of course, you turn to your friends. I have never even met Paula in person yet (or even talked on the phone) but she has become a very special friend and supporter. I am so thankful for her and for this post.

I’ll keep this short because you guys have to check out her recipe. Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes is one of most talented bloggers I know. Her recipes are always fabulous, fresh, delicious and inventive. This is her second guest post here on my blog. . and there’s a reason for that. Paula is brilliant. And I’m not sure she knows this but pesto is one of my favorites. . so, for me, this recipe is perfection.

With that, I will turn it over to Paula!

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Hello again, Hip Foodie Mom readers!

I wonder if Alice is thinking about us? Do you think we can lure her with a nice bowl of whole wheat pasta smothered in a luscious spinach, lemon and pine nut pasta? No? I figured as much too. I mean, she’s on a more than deserved vacation people, growing freckles and making sand castles with her girls.

Let’s talk about this recipe then, until she comes back.

This is a recipe that I came up with after visiting an open organic and artisanal market that happens every month in this city, Buenos Aires. It’s always in a different neighbourhood, and the time it set foot in mine, I visited it three times. The weekend was incredibly sunny and warm, an indian summer, so let’s say it was crowded as Disney on a discount day.

But I got these wonderful whole wheat fusilli, a pasta I absolutely love to serve with pesto. They were made for each other, though you might call the spinach lemon pesto clingy, considering it gets into the spirals and doesn’t let go. Sometimes clingy is good.

I have nothing but praise for pesto, from the traditional one with basil, walnuts and garlic, the way my grandmother used to make it in a large mortar heavy as a melon necklace, to the awesome arugula one layered in these eggplant sliders, or my all time favorite, sun dried tomato pesto. Add a few tablespoons to a tomato soup or potato salad and make it sophisticated, use it as a sauce for oven baked potatoes, slather it on garlic bread next time you make a barbecue, or drizzle it over grilled chicken as a sauce. Oh, and it’s the perfect dressing for a pasta salad too.

The spinach is the leader in this recipe, and the lemon is exclusive. Without the latter there’s no depth of flavor. You can also add a few teaspoons of a good vinegar, but citrus goes so well with spinach I think you’ll be better following the recipe.

Let me tell you this is the perfect way to use the leftover greens and herbs that get forgotten in the refrigerator. What? You don’t have leftover spinach, arugula and parsley? Lucky you then, because in my kitchen those three things never get used fast enough, no matter how many salads and soups I make. So my very un-original idea always ends up being pesto. For all the above reasons. And I bet you can come up with a few more.

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For now, I urge you to try it and make a quick lunch, preferably outside in the sun, in the company of family and friends. It’s even good cold. But I already told you that.

Before I go, I want to thank my friend for having me guest posting here. She’s as loyal and caring as a food blogger can be, not only with others but with life in general. Such a marvelous thing for fate to throw her in my path. You can read more about how we met in the caramel congo bars post, some awesome chocolate and blondie bars all in one btw.

And let’s send Alice and her family a big cloud of positive thoughts and courage as they gather together in Dallas for a family health issue concerning her mother. Such a wonderful group of women.

Spinach, Lemon and Pine Nut Pesto

I make this pesto without parmesan cheese and add it to the pasta directly. But if you’re using it for something other than pasta, add 1/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese to the processor. Makes about 2 cups pesto, enough for 4 servings of pasta.

Author:

Recipe type: Main

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh spinach, washed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 shallot
  • Juice of 1/4 to 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12oz. pasta, cooked al dente
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients, except pasta, in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Process for 30 seconds, or until it forms a paste. Check seasonings and continue to process until it’s pureed to your liking.
  2. Keep in the refrigerator, in a container with a lid, and a thin layer of olive oil on top, to prevent oxidation.
  3. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, toss with pesto, sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve.

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