Feeling the need for another vegetarian meal on the menu, I asked chef in training to flip through Chatelaine’s Dinner in 30 cookbook and pick whatever he wanted…as long as it was meatless. Tricky for a meat lover. But he also happens to be a pesto lover, so secretly creamy pesto pasta it was.
Now I know many think pesto makes anything better, but I’m a little more “meh” about it. However, reading the recipe I saw that this was not your standard pesto: no basil or pine nuts to be found. Instead, the base is made of arugula (which is super healthy and a leafy green I adore), toasted almonds and soft tofu, along with the usual ingredients like garlic, oil and Parmesan cheese. It also looked deliciously simple. The fettuccine noodles topped only with the secret pesto sauce, grape tomatoes and Parmesan slivers.
So while chef in training handled the mini sous chef’s bedtime, I got to work. I popped the pasta in boiling salted water and gathered the “pesto” ingredients. The recipe didn’t specify type of almond, but I bought blanched sliced almonds for toasting. And seeing as my food processor remains MIA, I pulled out the blender figuring it would do the trick. I have two things to say about this: One is that blending arugula during the critically delicate bedtime routine is a bad (and very loud) idea. And two, the blender does exactly what it’s supposed to…it blends with enthusiasm. So the arugula and tofu mixture came out VERY green and creamy. I really need to find that food processor.
Regardless, our pasta may have turned out greener than the recipe’s lovely glossy photo, but it still tasted good. Really good. And while discerning palates would never confuse this arugula pesto for the traditional basil one, even chef in training had to admit the dish wasn’t missing anything. In fact, if you’re hunting for a St. Patrick’s Day meal that packs a healthy punch, this may be the dish for you. Just remember to use the blender.
Try this recipe: Secretly creamy pesto pasta