The Triple P: Pea Pesto Pasta! (and protein!)

I have a serious pesto obsession. I could bathe in pesto. You could make pesto with any ingredient in existence (cookie pesto?) and I’d probably eat it. I found this recipe for pea pesto a couple months ago, bookmarked it, and finally got around to making it, and it turned out wonderful! I mixed up the pasta with some tofu for my protein, and I made some modifications to the recipe I found to make it my own, and I’ve typed it out below complete with hastily taken photos (because I was so excited to eat it!)

Ingredients:

Tofu:
1 block firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS dried basil

Pesto:
3 cups peas (from bag of frozen peas)
spaghetti noodles
3 tbs toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup Parmesan, plus more to serve
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:

Cook desired amount of spaghetti according to directions on package. Set aside 2 cups of the pasta water before draining.

Tofu:
About an hour  and a half before you’d like to cook, start draining the tofu. Leave it either in a tofu press or pressed between towels with a heavy object on top for an hour. For the remaining half hour, marinate cubed pieces of tofu in the olive oil, garlic powder, and dried basil.

Once it is coated well and has marinated for half an hour, sautee the tofu over medium heat in a large skillet until golden on all sides. Set aside to mix with pasta.

Pesto:
Put 2 cups of your peas, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and basil in a food processor/blender (I use the Magic Bullet. Gets the job done but could be better) and blend until roughly chopped. Add the olive oil a small portion at a time and blend mixture until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

        

Add the extra cup of peas and sauteed tofu to your pasta and mix. Then, add the pesto sauce one tablespoon at a time and mixing to coat the pasta. Add the saved pasta water as needed to keep the pesto from being to sticky and to help it spread and coat the pasta. Add pesto sauce until all ingredients are well coated and clearly “green” looking. Top with some extra parmesan to serve, and enjoy!

   

I paired this with New Belgium Brewery’s Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer It was a nice, mild pairing that didn’t overwhelm the dish but rather paralleled the savory, warm flavor of the pesto pasta.

I wonder what else I can make into a pesto sauce? Will definitely try Rosemary, Spinach, and Cilantro Pesto. Wondering if it would be possible to make a “dessert pesto” out of mint leaves or chocolate somehow….hmm…

Any good ideas or experience with experimental pesto recipes?

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Categories: Vegetarian

Author:Danielle Kay Riendeau

Photographer & designer. Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Food Blogger at Pink Troll Kitchen.

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6 Comments on “The Triple P: Pea Pesto Pasta! (and protein!)”

  1. February 16, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    Love the idea of a pea pesto! It looks soo creamy and yummy. I made a walnut and parsley pesto if you fancy giving that a go 🙂 x

    http://veghotpot.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/walnut-and-parsley-pesto/

    • February 16, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      It ended up being way more delicious than I expected! And walnut parsley pesto sounds amazing…I will definitely have to try it. So far I’ve only used pine nuts but I’m excited to branch out there as well:)
      Thanks for the comment!

      • February 16, 2012 at 7:21 am #

        My mum has a walnut tree in her garden so I have an abundance of walnuts! I ended up using them in pesto to get rid of them lol! x

      • February 16, 2012 at 8:10 am #

        That’s awesome! And I bet the homegrown stuff tastes so much better!

  2. elle
    February 19, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Heyhey! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! check it out 😀 http://ellesite.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/versatile-blogger-award-nomination/
    ~elle

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