No, I didn't grow the basil for this pesto. In Seattle?! At this rate, my basil won't be up until Halloween. I cannot believe the absolute lack of sunlight we've been experiencing. But Trader Joe's basil will do nicely. (If you're soaking up the sun in some other clime, I sort of don't want to hear about it).
The greens, however, did come from my garden. A huge pile of tender arugula, spinach, and baby kale, chopped up and thrown into the hot pasta till it's just wilted. It might have been a more accurate description to say "Greens with noodles." I've wondered about iron deficiency lately because of all the fatigue I've been experiencing. My Mom said, "There's no way you could be anemic. You eat too many greens." Case in point.
This has nothing to do with green noodles, but I can't write tonight without saying what a fabulous birthday celebration Bethany and I had yesterday. We (belatedly) celebrated our June birthdays with a ritual day at Olympus Spa (aka"Korean Spa"). Usually, we're extremely lucky to get 10 minutes on the phone before one of us has to break up a fight or ration snacks. Oh, the conversations that can happen in eight whole hours! And the bi bim bap and pajeon to be had at Lynnwood Korean restaurants! In all the moments of uncertainty or frustration that are certain to come down the pike between now and my next birthday, I'll pull these hours out. I'll draw strength from them and remember that, in the end, loving and being loved is all there is. (Okay--eating's somewhere in there, too). xoxo, Bethany.
Green Spaghetti with Greens
Serves four. Making your own pesto couldn't be easier if you have a food processor. But you could certainly used purchased pesto here. If you do, add a clove of minced garlic and a little extra salt, as I find it to be lacking the punch that homemade pesto has.
1 lb. spaghetti (reserve 1/2 c. of the cooking water)
1/2 c. homemade pesto or purchased pesto (and maybe more to taste)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes
Big bowlful of coarsely chopped washed and dried greens--at least 6 cups. I used arugula, spinach, and baby kale.
1/2 c. crumbled feta or shaved pecorino or parmesan for garnish
Boil spaghetti in lots of salted water. Reserve a little cooking water before draining it.
Dump drained pasta back into the pot, then add pesto and cream over low heat. Use a wooden spoon and tongs to gently incorporate all the cream and pesto into the pasta. You want every noodle covered. Add salt and pepper, and taste to see if you want to add a little more pesto. Add a little of the cooking water to loosen a bit if needed.
Gently fold in greens and tomatoes, stirring until the greens are wilted. Turn off heat.
Mound into pasta bowls, and top with crumbled feta and maybe a drizzle of olive oil.