Posts Tagged ‘spring recipes’

Farfalle with Walnut-Tarragon Pesto, Cremini Mushrooms and Peas from Julies Raw Ambition

This week’s gorgeous spring recipe comes to us from Julies Raw Ambition, one of our 2011 Featured Contributors.  We love the use of fresh peas to offer some sweetness to balance that beautiful umami from the mushrooms and pesto!

Walnuts with tarragon and a little bit of thyme create a decidedly French-inspired, delicious alternative to traditional basil pesto. Meaty cremini mushrooms and sweet petite peas are the perfect compliment, punctuated with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The portion of tarragon for the pesto may seem modest, but a little goes a long way.

Farfalle with Walnut-Tarragon Pesto, Creminis, and Peas

  • 16 oz package farfalle (bow-tie shaped) pasta
  • 16 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite spring peas, thawed
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 2 cups loosely packed parsley (some stems are fine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmeggiano-reggiano cheese chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 TB fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cook farfalle according to package instructions.  Be sure to liberally salt the water. Drain and reserve a cup of pasta water.

In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper when they are near done. Turn off heat, add the cooked farfalle and set aside.

Make the pesto by first adding the garlic clove and parmesan cheese to a food processor. Pulse until crumbly, then add the walnuts. Pulse again to smaller crumbles, making sure garlic is well incorporated. Then add parsley, tarragon, and thyme. Blend until herbs are finely minced in with the cheese and walnuts. Add the lemon juice, and with the processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Check the seasonings and add some pepper and a pinch or two of salt to taste.

Add the pesto, 1/4 cup at a time, and the thawed peas to the skillet. Toss, and add a little bit of pasta water to thin the pesto.  Add more pesto as desired, toss again, and thin with pasta water as necessary.  Serve with a wedge of parmesan cheese to grate fresh over the top.