It's real. I can officially keep my herb garden somewhat alive. The key is to water frequently. It is just like taking care of a dog, but way easier. No baths. No walks. No expensive gluten-free food. Way less frequent haircuts. OH, and you get to eat them and they're totally cool with it. They encourage it, actually.
This is a cheaper version of the classic pesto, nixing pine nuts for pecans and adding a little spinach to bulk up the basil. We also added a healthy dose of shaved parmesan and chicken sausage to man up the meal a bit.
This is perfect summer night food. A glass of chardonnay? Yes, please.
Recipe for Spinach and Pecan Pesto
1 lb papperdalle pasta, cooked and rinsed
4 chicken sausage links, sliced and browned in skillet
1 cup fresh basil
1 large garlic clove
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
While boiling pasta, toast pecans in large fry pan on medium-high heat. After about a minute, or nuts get super aromatic, add pecans to food processor with basil and garlic. Add sausage to skillet and begin to brown.
While pasta and sausage are cooking, pulse basil, garlic, pecans, salt, pepper, an olive oil together in food processor until it is like a spread. Add extra olive oil if necessary. When noodles are cooked al dente (about 10 minutes), rinse and throw into skillet with chicken sausage and pesto. Toss together and serve with parmesan.
The best part about this dish? It's amazingly good cold if you want to bring it to work or get a lunch fix on a hot day. Spinach pesto.... why I love you so?