Pesto Linguine with Snow Peas, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Lemon Zest

With the latest major food holiday and subsequent eating marathon now over, I feel like I can finally have chance to take a breath and get back to my normal way of life…well as normal as it could be in my household anyway. With all of the anticipation of turkey, stuffing, pies, and more pies, we were looking for some lighter fare one recent night and I remembered a fantastic sounding recipe from Shape magazine I had recently picked up.

Coming from a healthy lifestyle magazine, I felt somewhat justified in making this dish…I mean come on, we were mere days away from the superfest of Thanksgiving food, surely some “healthy” food is in order right? Despite being gungho about this dish initially, I have to admit that I did have some reservations. I grew up in the era of Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda and the 80s diet and fitness craze. If my memory served me correctly, the “healthy” food that came out of that craze was probably healthy, but it tasted like processed cardboard. It was pretty awful. So while this looked and sounded good, I was somewhat skeptical…

I really should have just gone with the flow. Pesto is one of those magical ingredients that somehow always manages to ensure that your meal will be great. It’s like the ambrosia of the gods…only for foodies. This linguine was simple to prepare but boosted a great depth of flavor and freshness that was surprising but very welcome. The pesto provides a fantastic base of flavor that pairs well with the slightly sweet and acrid sun dried tomatoes. Throw in a bit of snow peas for some freshness, a little of olive for a briny zing, and some lemon zest to lighten the dish and we’ve got ourselves a winner here. If you like your dishes a little more lemony, like we do, feel free to squeeze some fresh lemon juice in there for a little extra brightness. All in all, I was blown away by this linguine and cannot wait to make this again…forget the Thanksgiving pre-game, this is going into the regular rotation!

Pesto Linguine with Snow Peas, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Lemon Zest
Adapted from Shape Magazine | October 2010

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces linguine
2 cups thinly sliced snow peas
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of 1 large lemon

Preparation

To make pesto, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture forms a chunky smooth paste, scraping down sides of work bowl as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also use prepared pesto instead of this, however, believe me that the taste of fresh pesto is well worth the extra effort. You won’t be disappointed.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook linguine according to package directions for al dente. 3 minutes before the linguine is done, add in snow peas to pot and cook linguine and snow peas together.

While pasta cooks, heat remaining oil in medium pan over medium heat. Saute onions, tomatoes, and olives for about 6 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Drain pasta when done and return to pot and add pesto. Mix until pesto is well combined and coats linguine. To serve, divide pasta among serving plates and top with onion, tomato, olive mixture and a bit of lemon zest. Serve and revel in the tasty goodness!

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~ by tastydesu on November 30, 2010.

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