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!
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.
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.
I didn’t really notice anything happening until I started to add the EVOO.
Then walah…we have cheesy pesto!
But where’s the pea part of this pesto? Right here. I added some peas in the pesto and some with the pasta.
It made the pesto so much brighter. Love the color.
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.
Stir or toss together and you’re ready to eat.
Here’s the recipe.
Penne w/ Peas and Spinach Pesto and Asparagus
11 points per serving
- 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
- Boil pasta in salted water.
- Puree ricotta cheese, spinach, basil, garlic and EVOO together. Add peas, salt and pepper and puree again.
- Scoop the pasta out but don’t drain the water. Use the water to cook the asparagus and more peas.
- Drain veggies and add to pasta with pesto. Stir to combine and enjoy!
Let me know what you think!