Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy weekday dinner and challenges

Cooking for one is challenge enough. Things in supermarkets are usually sold in 4 - 6 portion size packages. Or, for example,  the asparagus I picked up at the European market. The bunch of asparagus was a size that would easily be enough for a side dish for a family of four for at least 2 meals.

Since I am sleep deprived today, I knew by the time dinner time rolled around I would barely be able to keep my head up, so I planned ahead.

I steamed about 12 spears of asparagus and I decided I should make a pesto of sorts.

I chopped up the cooked asparagus and added some chopped garlic, black pepper, dried parsley, dried basil and olive oil and gave it a whirl with the immersion blender.

Then I cooked enough pasta for two servings (so I will have leftover pasta for another easy dinner or lunch).

Cooked pasta and the asparagus pesto.

They both went into the fridge until dinner time. 

When my stomach started to rumble I pulled out the pasta and heated up one portion (on low heat) and then added in the asparagus pesto.

Toss together until the pasta is coated with the pesto and everything is warmed through. 

You will end up with this:

Now, keep in mind if you wanted to make this more like a traditional pesto you would add in pine nuts or walnuts - but I wanted to keep things on the lighter side.

It tasted rich and green without a strong asparagus flavor - it was almost like a pea puree - just more savory and less sweet. MMMMM.

Asparagus Pesto

serves 1

12 spears of aparagus

1/2 tsp. of chopped garlic

3 Tbsp. of dried parsley

1 tsp. of dried basil
ground black pepper to taste

a pinch of salt

3 Tbsp. of olive oil

1 portion of pasta cooked al dente

Steam the asparagus until it turns a bright green. Pull it off the heat and run the asparagus under cold water (or immerse in an ice bath) to prevent it from continuing to cook.

Chop the asparagus and add in the garlic, parsley, basil, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Get out your immersion blender and while the blender is running drizzle in 3 Tbsp. of olive oil or until you have a thick paste. Put the paste in a container and pop it in the fridge.

Cook 1 - 2 portions of pasta until al dente. Drain and place it in a container and into the fridge it goes.

At dinner time - put a sautee pan on low heat. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan and toss the cooked pasta till coated. Then add 1 Tbsp. of the aparagus pesto to the pasta and toss until well coated.

When the pasta is warmed through - pull it off the heat and transfer to your dish.  Top with a small dollop of the pesto and possibly a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Have a great night - and wish me undisturbed sleep tonight - I need it!


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