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30 Days of Cooking Light–Day 17. Cheese Ravioli with Pesto

August 23, 2011

You can find the recipe here.

Cooking Light has been doing a series of budget friendly recipes–Feed Four for under $10.  This flavorful meatless dish uses spinach to stretch the homemade pesto. The 2/3 cup of basil called for in the recipe cost me 3.99.  Since it is impossible to keep  basil plants alive here in the desert,  I can appreciate a pesto recipe that doesn’t require my buying 20.00 worth of fresh herbs 🙂

I made a few minor changes to the original recipe. I used shredded parmesan because the grocery store did not have a block of parmesan. Um yeah…life on the border. I can get fresh roasted green chiles and corn husks for tamales any given day of the week (A big score when you love Mexican food as much as I do!)…but “exotic” foods like a block of parmesan cheese? Not today….at least at this particular chain grocery store.

I decreased the amount of cayenne pepper called for in the recipe to 1/8 tsp (for the babies) and my Northern hubs was still remarking on the spiciness of the dish. I found that it gave great depth to the pesto which might have been too “watered down” by the spinach, so I wouldn’t leave it out entirely.  I also added chopped grape tomatoes as a garnish to my dish and to Leighton’s because the boys do not like tomato.

You need a food processor to blend the pesto, but it comes together quickly! 

Leighton’s plate: pasta topped with steamed asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Served with a side of fresh peaches. No pine nuts.

She ate every single bite…undeterred by the “spiciness” that her daddy noticed complained of.

Verdict?

Anything with pine nuts and parmesan cheese is a keeper in this house. We loved it. Simple, inexpensive, fresh, and flavorful. Great Meatless Monday dish!

Even Mr. Picky (Morgan) ate most of it.

Everyone is getting excited about cooking again…here Morgan feeds his sister one of his culinary masterpieces.

My “BFF” gave Leighton dishes for her birthday. They are both having so much fun cooking and throwing parties!

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