Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pea Shoot Pistachio Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes and Chicken Sausage

Sometimes I go on cooking marathons. I get home from work and think I will make cinnamon bun pretzels for breakfast, BBQ quinoa bites to go on salads for lunch, raspberry jam and pudding for pudding pop dessert, and then we need something for dinner that night so I better make some time for pea shoot pistachio pesto. Four hours and about 24 dishes washed later we have food to feed a small army for about a week, which is good because the two of us eat like a small army. This is what my Tuesday looked like. Thank goodness this pesto is easy to make or I might have crumpled before mile 26. 

Now onto the really good things that make up this pesto. Pistachios! Delicious salty pistachios. And roasted tomatoes. Roast those tomatoes! Roast them all day everyday and put them on sandwiches, salads, and pea shoot pistachio pesto. Roasted tomatoes are sticky sweet balanced by their acid. They are so much better than their raw form. They make this dish bright and zingy. That's right, zingy. Don't know what that tastes like? Try it and see. Finally, the pea shoots, which can be subbed for basil or cilantro, but if you can find them at your local farmer's market I highly suggest them. They taste slightly of peas and are very bright in this dish, especially when accompanied by the lemon. The best part of this dish is it takes about 25 minutes to throw together so you don't have to run the kitchen marathon.  

Pea Shoot Pistachio Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes and Chicken Sausage 
Feeds 4-6, adapted from Love and Lemon

2 large tomatoes, sliced about 1/4" thick
4 tbs olive oil
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
12 ounces linguine (about 3/4 of a package) 
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup parmesan + more for serving
2 cups pea shoots (basil or cilantro can be subbed)
2 cloves garlic 
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Zest of one lemon
1/2 pound chicken sausage, precooked and sliced 1/2" thick

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and place tomatoes on a single layer on the sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and all of the balsamic over the tomatoes and roast for 20-25 minutes until starting to caramelize. 

Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. 

In a food processor or a blender, pulse together pistachios, parmesan, pea shoots, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Once you have a coarse mixture, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and pulse a few times until incorporated. 

In a nonstick saute pan over medium high heat with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brown the sausage (about 4 minutes per side). 

Mix together pesto, pasta, sausage, and tomatoes with a large wooden spoon, until everything is coated in the pesto. 

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