Monday, August 6, 2012

spicy pesto fusilli

An Easy One-Dish Meal
Great back to school dinner + Simple way to sneak some
veggies into pasta
Happy Monday!

I hope you had a good weekend! Ours we filled with lots of swimming, dinner and a movie, and Handyman's camping preparations. (He's taking a group of varsity scouts up to Maine for a week long canoe trip. So, I be solo this week.)

I mentioned before my favorite source for recipes.I do love playing with pesto. Basil and pine nut pesto is certainly classic, but it's also fun to make other flavors, like this pepita filling for cheese flautas, but I decided to branch out a little bit this weekend and make Giada's fusilli with spicy pesto for Sunday dinner.

Its a really simple dish. The recipe says it to takes 54 minutes to prepare, but they must have done the math wrong on that, because I whipped it up and had it on the table in about 15 minutes.
I halved the recipe, because I wasn't sure how spicy it would be, and how much my kids would like it. Turns out, its not really spicy at all . . . but I also didn't add a single jalapeno seed in the pesto either. And my kids did eat it. I had this little visitor digging in before I could even finish snapping a few photos.
A few modifications I would make next time:
  • Add a few jalapeno seeds for just a little bit of heat
  • Saute the garlic for just a few minutes before adding to process, just to take the edge off.

I served this with some fresh cantaloupe on the side and declared dinner done. I'll definitely be filing it among my back-to-school-I-need-an-easy-to-make-in- a-hurry dinner option.

Have you made any of Giada's recipes before?

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2-inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped* see Cook's Note
  • 2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved
For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the cooked pasta and pesto in a large serving bowl. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Asiago cheese shavings and serve.
*Cook's Note: For a milder pesto, remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper.

Sunday: |I Heart Naptime|Nifty Thrifty Things|It's Overflowing| MopItUp| Monday: |Made By You| C.R.A.F.T.|Between Naps on the Porch|Home Stories A to Z| diy home sweet home| Tuesday: Coastal Charm|Tip Junkie|My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia|A Bowl Full of Lemons|Get Your Craft On|ClaimingOurSpace Wednesday: Uncommon|Savvy Southern Style |Organize and Decorate| NYMelroseFamily|Gingersnap Crafts Thursday: The Shabby Creek Cottage|Made in a Day|House of Hepworths|the 36th Avenue| Crafty Scrappy, Happy|52 Mantels Friday: Making Lemonade|Blissful and Domestic|One Artsy Mama|Serenity Now| Tatertots and Jello|The Shabby Nest|Thirty Handmade Days|Addicted 2 Decorating|Funky Junk Interiors|Financial Friday|At the Picket Fence|Classy Clutter|


  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. The pesto recipe looks delicious. I used to watch Giada all the time on Food Network. I love her recipes!

  2. I love a little bit of heat! Thanks so much for sharing this yummy recipe with us!

    Take care,


  3. Yummy! I am definitely bookmarking this to give it a try. Your little one is digging in so it MUST be good. :)

    Hugs, Angie

  4. This looks delish. And I would probably up the heat too. We like our stuff with a kick. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday. Hope to see you tomorrow!


I love hearing from my readers. Thank you for your comment. No urls please.

09 10