My favorite meal in Italy was a pesto dish in Liguria. It was so simple, a trofie pasta with green beans and pesto. To see it and other cool pasta, scroll down to "Trofie al Pesto" http://www.rusticocooking.com/pasta.htm
So, ever since then, I have had a love for pesto. A good pesto can go far, mix it with marinara sauce for a fresh taste, or layer it with béchamel and marinara in a lasagna. Here is a different kind of pesto to add to the repertoire. The walnuts make it ultra-healthy with omega-3s and serve as a protein source. So, just toss with pasta and you have a complete meal. I then took it a step farther and dared to delve into the world of fusion. I think it was successful but you can be the judge.
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh parsley leaves loosely packed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
2 gloves garlic
1 Tablespoon dried basil
4 Tablespoon oil
4 Tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Makes about 1 cup pesto
Assembling noodle mix:
1/2 box rice noodles
Handful of peas defrosted under running water
1 cup garbanzo beans rinsed
Its best to make ahead and store. Pesto will last at least 1 week in fridge and longer in freezer.
1. Add all pesto ingredients in blender. Stop every few seconds to loosen and help the blender. Add additional 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon olive oil if blender is still stuck.
For freezing purposes:
2. Boil water, and add rice noodles, let soak for 8-10 minutes. Strain.
3. Immediately add 1/2 cup pesto or more to taste. Add peas and garbanzo beans. Stir and toss and enjoy. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with basil leaf if desired.