Monday, April 18, 2011

Ravioli with Pea Shoot Pesto

Photo courtesy of Sunset magazine

Confession #1: I have never made my own pesto before.

Confession #2: I was a little late in getting my peas started this spring. Since they're all in a container and probably will never have the space to grow into full-blown sugar snap-pea producing machines before the hot weather hits Sacramento... I figured why not use them up with this recipe for pea shoot pesto?

The recipe is a great one for spring, as it uses young pea shoots (which can be grown or found at farmer's markets) and mint (I actually used freshly picked parsley), which is more likely to be available at this time of year, when basil is probably just a tiny transplant in your herb garden.

As for the pesto, it was as easy as figuring out how to adhere the food processor attachment to my blender. It came out simply delicious, rich and indulgent. I spooned it over spinach cheese tortellini and swooned.

Confession #3: I have garlic breath now.

Ravioli with Snap Peas, Pea Shoots, and Minty Pea Shoot Pesto
From Sunset magazine

1 small garlic clove
4 ounces parmesan cheese, cut into chunks
1 1/2 qts. lightly packed tender pea shoots*, separated into 4- to 5-in. pieces, divided
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh cheese ravioli
2 cups sugar snap peas

1. Whirl garlic in a food processor to mince. Add cheese and whirl until grated. Add 2 cups pea shoots, the mint, and oil; pulse until coarsely puréed. Scrape into a small bowl and press plastic wrap against pesto.

2. Cook ravioli as package directs, adding snap peas during last 2 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Whisk pesto, then gently toss three-quarters of it with pasta. Add remaining pea shoots and toss gently. Serve immediately, with remaining pesto if you like (or save it for a sandwich).

*Find at farmers' markets or Asian markets.

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