Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago

I’m watching Ever After as I work on this post. See?

Photo editing is fun. But photo editing whilst watching the beautiful Drew Barrymore play a strong-minded, philosophical, introspective Cinderella in a period piece set in France? WAY fun.

The library scene. And the scene when she shows up in that sparkling, white gown with the translucent butterfly wings? I die. And then… oh gosh, just go & watch.

So… back to pasta. And pesto.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

I promised a pesto recipe! And here it is!

It’s a versatile recipe so make it your own.

You could substitute goat’s cheese & the veggies of your choice. Kale would be an excellent substitute.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

This pasta was yummmmy.
The lemon gives it a WHAM of brightness.
The peas add little POPs of sweetness.
And the cheese provides a savory KAPOW of saltiness.
So basically what I’m saying is this pesto pasta is the equivalent of a comic book superhero.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach, and Asiago

1 Pound Fusilli Pasta
1 Cup Garlic Scape Basil Pesto (or to taste)
1 Cup Peas, fresh or frozen
1 Cup Cooked Spinach
1/2 Cup Grated & Sliced Asiago Cheese
2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1/2 to 1 Lemon, according to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, a dash of salt, & a drizzle of olive oil to the boiling water. Cook pasta according to directions. Add the peas 3 minutes before pasta is finished. If the spinach is frozen, add to the boiling water 1 minute before pasta is finished. Strain the pasta & peas and return to hot pot.

 Add pesto, grated cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly to coat all of the pasta. I like to do a stir/toss combo.

Stir spinach in now if freshly cooked. Top with pine nuts.

Eat by the heaping spoonful.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

Pairs well with Lemonade or Iced Mint Tea.

So tell me, what do you like to do with your pesto??

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

How wonderful is seasonal produce? It’s fresh, vibrant, and you can find it locally. The basil in this pesto came from the farmer’s market this morning. And the garlic scapes came in an organic box from Washington Green Grocer. WGG is like an interesting spin on the CSA (community supported agriculture). While not all of their produce is organic or local (or even national), a large portion is and you can order a local or organic box. And they deliver it to your door. Plus they’re very flexible about swaps and they offer a lot of add-ons. It’s really an excellent service that provides excellent products. For most, I definitely advocate using a traditional CSA that comes from an organic farm nearby and buying from local, producers-only farmer’s markets. However, if this is not an option (i.e. if it’s the middle of the season, no farms nearby, no sustainably grown produce, etc.) a group like Washington Green Grocer is a great alternative. They also have an excellent web design that’s easy to use and have a blog with recipe suggestions! I also hear Hometown Harvest is a good organization in the MD area with a similar model.

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

This pesto is everything you want in your pesto.

There’s the traditional basil, the fun of garlic scapes, and the flavor enhancers: red pepper flakes for a kick & red wine vinegar for a tiny little punch.

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

 Key is high quality produce. You could smell this basil across the kitchen. And the scapes were nice and firm.

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

YUM.

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto

1 Large Bunch Basil (About 2 Cups Loosely Packed)
5 Large Garlic Scapes
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1/4 Cup Walnuts
1/4 – 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tsp Salt (To Taste)

Chop the thick end and the seed head off of the garlic scapes and throw in the food processor. Puree until coarsely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and purée until smooth. Adjust to taste, adding more olive oil/salt/vinegar/cheese if you desire.

Spread on sandwiches or pizza, stir into pasta, or nosh with a spoon. However you eat it, you’ll love it.

And you’ll see what I do with it soon!

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto | Pumpkin Honey

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars (no bake)

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

Raw and no-bake desserts can be totally hit or miss. Some are absolutely incredible and some taste like cardboard or flavorless mush. These Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars are seriously good. They taste just like oatmeal raisin cookie dough. I’m serious. No, really. They’re delicious. SERIOUSLY. And they are pretty healthy as well. Plus, they’re easy as pie to make! One food processor, one pan and voilà – you’ve made the equivalent of oatmeal raisin cookie dough. Could that be more wonderful? So, please, go ahead – make them and eat them.

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

These bars make an excellent breakfast or snack. And dare I say it? They’d even make an excellent dessert… that you can feel good about afterward.

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bar

1 1/2 Cups Oats (Quick or Regular)

1/2  Cup Walnuts

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 1/4 Cup Dates

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Cold Water

1/4 Cup Raisins

1 – 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon (optional)

Blend the oats & walnut in your food processor until they turn into a coarse meal. Add dates, coconut oil, water, vanilla & salt and blend until the dough comes together. It should be slightly sticky. Add the raisins and pulse a couple of times to incorporate.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press the dough firmly into the lined pan. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top evenly. This gives the bars a light, sweet, maple flavor that really sends them over the edge. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours before eating. Refrigeration helps the bars stay together better, cut more easily & they taste great cold! Like cookie dough straight from the fridge : )

Enjoy!

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey