Spinach Pesto Linguine
- a large handful of fresh spinach
- 8-12 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference/size of meal)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 100-200g feta cheese
- 200g pitted kalamata olives
- a small package of snap peas
- 1-2 breasts chicken (can substitute salmon or steak)
- approximately 500g linguine
- Lightly sauté the garlic in a pan - this is not meant to completely cook it, but to take a little of the bite off of it. Chop the garlic up a bit in a food processor, then add the spinach bit by bit (stems may be left on if you like). When you have completed mixing the garlic and spinach together, add the olive oil and mix. Put into a bowl and set aside.
- Strip the snap peas of the stringy bits and the hard ends and place those aside in a bowl as well.
- Start the water on the stove at a medium temperature to prevent the water from boiling, but able to easily obtain a boil at your whim. Start the barbecue/grill and put the chicken (or other meat) on at a medium temperature. When it has heated up, put a bit of olive oil on each side to prevent sticking. When the meat is about a quarter done, you want to have the water boiling. Put the linguine in, and if you wish put a bit of olive oil in that as well for flavor and to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- While you are doing this, put the snap peas in a small fry pan with some olive oil at a low-medium temperature to warm them up a bit.
- When the pasta and meat are cooked (try and get these finished cooking at the same time), slice the chicken into strips (in the case of the steak/salmon, it may be better to just leave it in fillet/steak form for presentation purposes). Strain the pasta, and put it in a fry pan along with some of the pesto (by portion) to heat the pesto up a bit. Make sure it is not at a high temperature, as that will cause the pasta to crisp up. When you have finished this, put it on a plate and top with feta and olives.
- Arrange the snap peas and meat strips on top as well, and there's your dinner!
Makes 3-5 portions.
You may alter the pesto at will; it works equally well to either add sundried tomatoes to the spinach pesto, or, if you like, you could also just do a traditional basil pesto. Other variations on pesto include adding Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano (or other, softer Parmesan cheeses), or adding different kinds of nuts (pine nuts, almonds, etc) for a different taste to the pesto. In keeping with the tangy taste the kalamata olives bring to the pasta, sundried tomatoes really help enhance the flavor of the dish.