Hope everyone had a long, fantastic weekend. Mine was a little bit of a mixed bag — lots of fun, but I broke my freaking YOGA 3. I’ve never before cracked a screen on any electronic device (knock on wood that I don’t break anything else now!!), including when I accidentally threw my old Dell (what I’m currently on) across the room and hit our coat rack treadmill.
How’d I do it? It fell, closed a whopping 5 inches to the floor. And we’re not talking a little baby crack, the screen totally shattered. All because I wanted to watch Pretty Little Liars in the bathtub. Have you seen that show? I know in my heart that I’m a 26 year old woman and I should probably just say “No thanks” to anything that airs on ABC Family, but I just can’t stay away. It’s SO good — no spoilers please! I just barely started season 4 and it’s basically like a PG version of Desperate Housewives aka some of the best trash I’ve ever watched.
After a weekend of many beers, less-than-clean eats, and trashy, trashy TV, I need some greenery in my life. But still some carbs, because I did just break a $1600 laptop and those noodles hold the key to happiness. Also, pesto. Pesto holds the key to happiness — why am I not eating it every day of my life? This recipe was inspired by one I saw on Pinch of Yum. I’ve made it a handful of times now and I just love having crunchy green veggies the same shape/size as the noodles — then it’s impossible to pick out the noodles as you’re eating, basically forcing you to eat tasty veggies.
Meanwhile, wash and trim the veggies, chopping into pieces about the same size as the pasta will be once cooked (you should have about 2 c of each asparagus and green beans). Mince garlic and finely chop spinach.
Heat a pan over medium heat. You can use EVOO, spritz with nonstick spray or put a little water in the pan to prevent sticking — if using jarred pesto, I recommend using the oil pooled on the top of the jar and replacing it with water before stirring the pesto up. Add the garlic, asparagus, and green beans, sauteing until the veggies turn bright green but still have crunch.
Strain the pasta and toss with the sauteed veggies. Stir in the pesto and set aside to cool (about an hour at room temp, 20 minutes if you stick it in the fridge). Cooling everything down prevents the spinach from wilting and cheese from melting.
Once cool, stir in the spinach and remaining ingredients to the pasta.
I personally find this to be more delicious the next day. If preparing it in advance, wait until the day of to stir in the spinach to prevent wilting.
This serves 4 – 6 as a meal, and about 10 as a side. Use whole wheat or gluten free pasta, based on your dietary preferences.