All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
Yesterday – the heat was downright uncivilized. Well over 100 degrees – ALL DAY. I have no AC in my house so my three dogs & I walked around with our tongues hanging out while experiencing a sometimes vague and sometimes overwhelming sense of claustrophobic panic. I had to do an interview at 6pm in the valley which meant driving even deeper into the inferno but my car has AC & I was pretty certain the radio studio would, too, so I was counting the seconds until I could leave. Around 5pm – I was starving but it was way too hot to try to cook anything & I didn’t have time to eat anyway. Still – like we all do – I looked in my fridge for things I knew were not in there. A fridge which, incidentally, required a major repair this week. My house is beginning to have too many things in common with Grey Gardens in general – a course I am temporarily powerless to reverse – but a fridge that lets a gorgeous burrata sour in the span of a day is just unacceptable. A girl has to eat! Even if she has to eat amidst squalor & ruin – much of it caused by bad, bad dogs – she still has to eat. And cook. And write about it. And stuff. So I called Wilshire Refrigeration – and the repairman arrived in a few hours to break the terrible news to me. My 15 year old Sub-Zero had a cancer – a leaking freon coil thingamajigga & it had to be cut out. I was told by my friend that had recommended Wilshire Refrigeration to me – that I was likely to get very timely, competent & friendly service – and I DID – but he also warned me that I would likely walk funny for a few days afterward. And I can report to you now that a $1000 repair bill DOES somehow feel like an ass rape. But so does a fridge full of warm beer & rotting dairy, mayo & eggs. So – $1000 later and after bidding adieu to the repair guy – I walked – like a bowlegged cowboy – back to my kitchen to put everything that was salvageable back into my restored chilling appliance.
But I digress. At 5 last night – I glanced in my fridge for a snack. There was nothing that fit the bill but there was a collection of ingredients that I spontaneously decided would whip nicely into a cool pesto that I could mix into pasta upon my return from the interview. I had 10-15 minutes before I had to leave so – I made the following delightful concoction:
PRINT THIS RECIPE
Spinach & Pea Pesto Pasta with Three Cheeses
serves 2 (Use more pasta to feed however many you have.)
4 packed cups fresh spinach
1 packed cup fresh basil
2 cup frozen peas – 1 cup for the pesto – 1 cup for the pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
water – 1/4 cup or more
2 oz goat cheese
2 oz feta cheese
(or 4 oz of either one – Goat or Feta)
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tomato – diced (more if you are feeding more than 2)
fresh parsley – chopped
S&P to taste
1/2 lb dried pasta
In a food processor blend the basil, spinach, garlic, olive oil, s&p, feta, goat cheese, 1 cup of peas – adding only as much water as you need to get the proper consistency.
NOTE – This will make 2-3 cups of this pesto – FAR more than you need for 1/2 lb pasta (which serves 2 – in my opinion). In fact – it is way more than you need for the whole box of pasta. So – use the extra on crostinis or as a condiment on sandwiches or as a base to a pizza or for just more pasta.
Cook your pasta according to the directions. In the last minute or two – add 1 cup of the peas to the water. Drain.
Put the pasta & cooked peas in a bowl & toss with a few tablespoons of the pesto. Add more if you think it needs it. Arrange the pasta on plates & top with a little more pesto, chopped tomato, chopped mozzarella & parsley. And go heavy with the parsley. It has a lovely, fresh taste & is not just a garnish!!! 🙂
After I whipped up the pesto – using unthawed frozen peas – I put it in the fridge for a $1000 chilling – and walked my aching ass to the car to head to the valley for my interview.
The radio studio is in Sherman Oaks. The waiting room looks like this:
Pictures of past guests (like Noah Wyle & Mini Me) lined one wall. After about 20 minutes of listening to an Irish author be interviewed just before me – I was called in for my part. Sheena
was SUPER duper nice, smart & funny. The interview went as well as I could hope & I really enjoyed myself – both because of the civilized temperature in there & because of the charm of my hostess. The entire interview can be heard HERE
. I show up at about the 62 minute mark.
Once that was done, I stepped outside into the smokey dusk (a fire was blazing near the Getty).
No surprise there was a fire as I wasn’t entirely sure I was safe from spontaneous combustion myself. I got into my car & checked the temperature.
104!! At 7pm!!! Ugh. Still – smog & fires make for pretty sunsets & nice light for photographs.
So – I cranked up the AC in the car & headed home to boil up some pasta & try my newest pesto creation. And let me tell you – it was REALLY good! And so easy! And good for you! So try it!!!