Sweet Pea Pesto
My husband and I had baby food the other night, yes baby food. Our daughter started on solids a few weeks ago and of course I am making her food. BPA-free ice trays make homemade baby food super easy, but even though mama made it, it doesn’t always mean that baby likes it. Peas, she doesn’t like peas! Honestly I don’t really blame her, I don’t really fancy peas, though I am finicky and like them in some dishes, oddly I also found her puréed peas delicious.
After making our little lady endure 4 days of these sweet greens I had a few cubes of peas leftover. Figuring that I will eventually give them to her again, but not until her taste buds have expanded a bit. I didn’t want those three cubes to sit in the freezer for too long and I certainly didn’t want to throw them away. I decided to make dinner for my husband and I out of them, I mixed them with pesto and tossed them with linguini. Delicious! I may never make pesto without peas again, I even achieved that great color that pesto has in Liguria, making me think that maybe Ligurians sneak peas into their pesto. She may be seeing more peas sooner rather than later! Maybe with a little basil she won’t spit them out.
Sweet Pea Pesto
Makes 1 cup
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 3 ounces purèed peas (recipe follows)
- 1/2 lb pasta of your choice, we really liked this with linguini
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix until it becomes a paste. It can be stored in a jar, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the fridge.
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Warm a serving bowl with a spoonful of cooking water, add the pesto and stir to combine. When the pasta is perfectly al dente, strain and add to the bowl reserving some of the water in a small cup. Toss to coat the pasta, adding water as needed if it is sticking together.
Purèed Peas from wholesomebabyfood.com
If using Fresh Peas, open the pods and scrape out the peas from the pod. If using frozen type of either Peas or Green Beans, cook according to package directions.
Place fresh peas into a steamer basket in a pan with a just enough water to slightly show through in the basket.
Steam until very tender; be sure to check on the water level.
Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the peas. (Plunging hot cooked peas into a bowl of ice cold water is known to help make a smoother puree.)
Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
It is best to use the setting that makes the finest liquid purees – green bean and pea skins are rather difficult to completely puree. Using a blender rather than a food processor or stick mixer might be better as well.
Add the reserved water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
You may wish to push the peas through a sieve or mesh strainer to get rid of any remaining skins.