Pesto Love, the unconventional way

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I hate pasta. Says no one. Ever.

Cooking pasta is probably one of my oldest guilty pleasures. It dates back in Highschool and up until now I still amuse myself on “curating” pasta recipes in the kitchen as I cook backwards with what’s left in our fridge. Most of the time, Mama counts on me when she doesn’t know what to do with that 2-day old rice or left-over fish, i guess she perfectly knows how to push my buttons so i’d  automatically whip that slotted spoon to make food magic. 

When my Aunt from the US paid a visit a few months ago, we went to Tagaytay because she loves the weather and the atmosphere there better than Manila (can’t blame her, right?). On our way home, we did our usual fruits and vegetable pasalubong (travel present) shopping, but bringing vegetable home wasn’t enough for me so I bought herbs and vegetable plants too!

I do not have a green thumb but i know for certain my Mom does. I told myself while buying, “Mama will take care of these for me. I just hope Manila-weather cooperates.” Ergo I brought home Mint, Basil, and Cilantro—or those I frequently use on my meals and drinks, specially Basil and Mint. Basil for Pesto sauce and Mint for Honey Lemon Mint water.

Lo and behold, after a week, all three died. * slit wrist *

I was really hoping they will grow since I’ve planned out an “achievement” to brag about on social media: That I have cooked Pesto Pasta with ingredients i harvested from our very own backyard. But nah, too much planning got the best of my “awesomeness” hehe!

So in my fail attempt to make a traditional Basil-based Pesto Pasta, i turned to my ever reliable Spinach and Kale as an unconventional sub. Turns out, it tasted just as amazing! Kale, the mighty green, is one of the healthiest vegetables on earth, but it tastes real mean. It’s one of those food that i have low tolerance eating raw and so finding alternative ways to down it in my system without too much of a suicide is considered a glorious day.

Creativity attacks and so I curated this Spinach-Kale Pesto Pasta. Here’s the recipe for you to try and be a Kale-warrior too! 🙂

Preparation time: 45mins
Ingredients:

Sauce
1 cup Spinach
1/2 cup Kale
3/4 cup Peanut or Cashew
3/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 whole Garlic
Salt
Pepper
250g Pasta (Any will do)
1 tbsp Olive oil
2 cloves Garlic
4 pcs Dried Chili
250g Chicken breast, chopped

Note: Spinach, Kale, and peanut are all organic produce. For this recipe, I used Fettuccine pasta. I was able to try Mafalda too and both are equally perfect for this Pesto sauce.

Procedure:

  1. Wash vegetables thoroughly. In a food processor or blender, mix  all the ingredients for the Sauce.Once consistency is achieved, set aside.
  2. In a skillet, cook the pasta then set aside.
  3. Saute chops of chicken breast in olive oil, garlic, and dried chili. Wait for the chicken to turn golden brown and its own oil to come out. (About 10mins)
  4. Add pesto sauce and pasta. Mix well. Add parmesan/grated cheese or tomato paste to add more flavor.
  5. Makes 3-4 average size servings.

My Mama and my brothers, who are not much of a fan of anything-not-red-sauce, loved this recipe and always ask me to cook it on a regular basis. They usually question what’s in their food but this time, they just chug it down like a true Viking! Makes me happy to extend my cheat-sheet of putting Kale in our family’s diet without if’s and but’s. Me sneaky like that. Ha 😉

Eat your Greens,

Charlene

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