Saturday, February 24, 2007

No-Oil Pesto

When I saw this recipe in this cookbook, from which I've been cooking a lot lately, I figured I had to give it a whirl. Literally. Our Hero pleased me boundlessly this Christmas by giving me a 14-cup stainless-steel Cuisinart food processor. And I have fallen deeply in love.

I was intrigued by this pesto recipe, especially because it did not call for the requisite extra-virgin olive oil. Instead, ingredients are blitzed in the food processor with low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta (I chose the former for its superior protein content). It was embarassingly easy to throw together. Its lovely pale green color and bright flavor helped to simultaneously cheer me and remind me that winter is not, in fact, interminable. I tossed together a quick green salad with orange segments (for color and sweetness), and it made a nice busy-evening meal. I served it with whole-wheat fettucine.

Garlic Parsley Pesto with Pasta
1 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta
5 T. Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup very hot water
1/2 cup loosely-packed flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup loosely-packed fresh basil
2-3 large cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot cooked whole-wheat pasta

Combine all ingredients (except pasta) in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water a bit at a time to get the right saucy consistency. Toss with hot pasta quickly, as cheeses will melt. Could be used over veggies, chicken, rice, etc.

Incidentally, as Our Hero plugs away at his dissertation, I am widowed often on weekend evenings. This, from Orangette, made a perfect winter salad dinner. Our Hero enjoyed it as a snack when he returned home from school at 9:30pm. I used pecorino romano instead of the Parmigiano.

1 comment:

Valli said...

I have some stuffed pasta from Granville Island in the freezer."Spicy Cheese Agnolotti" and this quick, easy and healthy sauce will be a perfect combination!!