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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dark Days #1- Cilantro Pecan Pesto

Do you remember my elation last week over my serendipitous garden meeting with my neighbor? I made the pesto for our first Dark Days Challenge meal and it was wonderful. I am still wrestling with the flour thing though. As I mentioned before, no wheat is grown near me(click here to see where wheat is grown in the US). And here I am with this fabulous pesto that is begging for bread or pasta. So after discussing it with my husband we decided that making our own pasta would be acceptable. The wheat is from far away in North America but the pasta comes from my kitchen.

As you know pesto usually includes Parmesan cheese. I had recently read Michael Chiarello's recipe for Walnut Ricotta pesto and decided that ricotta would take the place of parmesan in my recipe. I bought local buttermilk and whole milk and made my own ricotta. This is a very easy process.

The pasta- I am just not a roll it out, flour it up, be patient kind of girl. Pie crusts just irritate me. My husband is great in these situations. He is the official bread baker in our house. So I mixed up the pasta dough and he rolled it out and cut it with surgical precision.

I decided that the pasta would need a little acid. I have been letting some of my last green tomatoes ripen in a paper bag so I chopped 2 red(reddish) ones and threw them in the pan. Then I put half of the pesto, 1 cup of ricotta, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water in the pan heated it up until creamy tossed the cooked pasta and finished the pasta in the sauce.

Dinner was delicious. The kids even loved it. The pesto was bright and sunny and the ricotta gave it a warm, comfort food feel.

Cilantro Pecan Pesto:

Approx 6 cups of cilantro leaves
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
1 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon

Load all ingredients except oil into bowl of food processor or blender and chop. Drizzle in olive oil. Occasionally use a spatula to clean sides of bowl and mix again until desired consistency. Cover with plastic wrap touching pesto to deter oxidization.

1 comment:

  1. Brenna, this sounds amazing. You are a goddess. I can't believe you made pasta for your first dark days meal! And I love that your husband is such help! Mostly I love that you share my hate of making pie crusts.