Penne w/ Pea and Spinach Pesto and Asparagus

I’ve been trying to make this meal for a couple weeks now. I started to purchase the ingredients the day my sister convinced me to not finish my grocery shopping and join her and our Mom for dinner. I’m glad that I met them, the steak was fabulous!, but it messed with my dinner plans for the week. The following week I got back on track and purchased everything that was needed. But then I never prepared the dish.

It’s almost like this dish just didn’t want to be made and eaten. At least not by me.

But I won! Oh yes I did.

What is this dish that I have spent so much time attempting to make? Penne with Pea and Spinach Pesto and Asparagus!

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It’s a real mouth full isn’t it??

I was so excited that I would still be able to make this after I joined Weight Watchers. I was worried the pasta would be too many points. But, luckily, it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a higher point dish coming in at 11 points per serving. But seeing as how I am able to have 30 a day, 11 is perfectly acceptable for one of the meals. The serving size is quite large too, just over 2 cups. That’s actually quite a bit of pasta.

Here’s how you make it:

No picture taken for this one, first you boil your pasta. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the pesto. You’ll need ricotta cheese (part skim), spinach, basil, EVOO and garlic.

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I know pesto calls for pine nuts. I was planning on putting some in. I even walked to the grocery store (mile and a half total) in order to get some. But when I found them I saw that they were $9 and let’s face it, I’m cheap! lol So I decided to leave them out. By all means you can put them in if you like. You will need a quarter cup.

Add everything to a food processor and pulse pulse pulse.

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I didn’t really notice anything happening until I started to add the EVOO.

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Then walah…we have cheesy pesto!

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But where’s the pea part of this pesto? Right here. I added some peas in the pesto and some with the pasta.

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It made the pesto so much brighter. Love the color.

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The recipe called for steamed asparagus but I decide to boil it along with the peas in the water I used to boil the pasta.

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Stir or toss together and you’re ready to eat.

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Yumm!

Here’s the recipe.

Penne w/ Peas and Spinach Pesto and Asparagus

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

11 points per serving

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, cut in pieces

Directions:

  1. Boil pasta in salted water.
  2. Puree ricotta cheese, spinach, basil, garlic and EVOO together. Add peas, salt and pepper and puree again.
  3. Scoop the pasta out but don’t drain the water. Use the water to cook the asparagus and more peas.
  4. Drain veggies and add to pasta with pesto. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Let me know what you think!

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