Friday, November 7, 2008

Pestos and Pastas

Green is rapidly turning into a staple colour in my kitchen! This past couple weeks I've been embracing any and all ideas I've come across to make use of the half pound each of fresh parsley and garlic chives I rescued from the night frosts, and pesto-ish concoctions have been more or less the order of the day.

For the first of the two "pestos" I made, I took advantage not only of my parsley and chives, but also used up a good handful of freshly roasted pumpkin and acorn squash seeds (they taste the same, just smaller!) in place of the pine nuts. A couple cloves of garlic and a splash of toasted sesame oil made the paste even richer-tasting, and the traditional parmesan rounded out the flavours and made it creamy and thick. So thick, in fact, that I had to thin it out with pasta water to serve it!

Pepita - Parsley Pesto
Serves 6
100g fresh parsley
30g fresh garlic chives
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup shelled, toasted pumpkin seeds
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup water
  1. Combine parsley, chives, garlic and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse to chop finely.
  2. Add pepper flakes, salt and Parmesan and pulse in.
  3. With the machine running, stream in the oils and water, mixing to a smooth puree.
  4. Store in the fridge, or freeze for later.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 51.9
Total Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Sodium: 40.6 mg
Total Carbs: 3.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 1.6 g

The next thing I made with the greenery was a pasta dish for a school-day lunch. I only used garlic chives this time, and left out the oil and nuts. Creamy ricotta stands in for the Parmesan here, and dried herbs and spices were added too. I boosted the bulkiness of this dish with strips of "zucchini pasta", but if I do this again (may not be anytime soon though - I'm still under the weather... groan!) I'll make sure to purge it well... it leached water like crazy by the time I got around to eating it! I'm sending this to next week's (being hosted this week by Inge of Vanielje Kitchen).

Chive - Ricotta Pasta And Squash
Serves 2
1 cup smooth ricotta cheese
3 oz fresh chives
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
red pepper flakes to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
salt + pepper
2 medium zucchini, peeled into thin ribbons
4 oz fettuccine, cooked and drained
  1. Puree cheese through salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Sautee zucchini ribbons and drained noodles in a nonstick saucepan until hot and zucchini is beginning to soften.
  3. Add sauce and toss well. Heat through and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 440.5
Total Fat: 17.2 g
Cholesterol: 62.7 mg
Sodium: 108.9 mg
Total Carbs: 48.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 22.8 g


  1. What a great idea for school lunches...make that a great idea for meals at anytime. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  2. Sarah, what a wonderful use of simple ingredients. I'll have to give this one a try. I love your use of chives.

  3. Sarah, the only thing that does more for me than the smell of fresh coffee is the smell of fresh herbs. Your pestos look wonderful and so does your pasta. SO simple but definitely a keeper. Sorry about the mixup with the PPN roundup but RUth has done her usual great job, and thanks for your entry.

  4. looks delicious , i'll have to give this a try . Thanks for sharing


Thanks for the feedback!