May 25, 2010

Using My Noodle

Pistachio, Spinach and Lemon Pasta with Pfeiffer Pinot Gris

A tangled nest of spaghetti in nutty lemony sauce is a house favorite. It's especially nice on a day when time is short and the kitchen is hot, as it takes all of 20 minutes, six ingredients, and only the heat necessary to boil spaghetti to create. I've been making this for years, adapting a Martha Stewart recipe and even taking it a step further with my own lime and cilantro version. Both the lemon and lime versions are wonderful all on their own for a nice vegan meal, or make great accompaniments to grilled meats and fish of all sorts.

As long as I'm putting my mind to it, wouldn't a orange/pecan version be just as wonderful?
The wine My Baby chose for this meal was the Pfeiffer 2006 Pinot Gris. The Pfeiffer's call their Pinot Gris, "Fruity, flowery and perfumey." We think this is a lovely and interesting Pinot Gris, highly aromatic and showing a bit of grapefruitiness long with its intense pear fruit. This wine is enjoyable with a wide range of food pairings, and its citrus notes work in harmony with the lemon sauced pasta.
Pistachio, Spinach and Lemon Pasta Rapido
This entire dish takes only the time required to cook pasta to complete, about 20 minutes from start to finish. Alternate ingredients for a terrific lime-cilantro version is listed in parenthesis. The lime version would be terrific served with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Give that a try, too.

1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios (1/2 cup raw pepitas)
1 shallot, cut into eighths
1 whole lemon, scrubbed and cut into eighths (1 lime + 1/2 cup chopped cilantro)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Arbequina variety is good here)
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 cups baby spinach, packed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Toast pistachios (or pepitas) in 375 degree oven until fragrant and just beginning to turn color, 6-8 minutes. Watch closely not to over-toast. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Plunge in spaghetti, stirring, and cook until tender, according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup cooking water for sauce.
Meanwhile, place cooled pistachios and shallot in bowl of food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not yet pasty. Place in large bowl. Without cleaning processor bowl, finely chop lemon; peel, seeds and all. (For the lime/cilantro version, add the cilantro along with the lime and process together.) I find this best chopped very fine, but still with a little character; certainly not to the point of puree. Place lemon in bowl with pistachio mixture.

Add olive oil, salt and pepper and stir well. Place spinach atop pistachio mixture. The warm pasta will slightly cook it to al dente stage. Place drained pasta in bowl with reserved pasta water and stir until pasta is evenly coated with sauce. Place on 4 serving plates.

23 comments:

  1. That is one beautiful pasta! :)
    Very well done!

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  2. This looks and sounds just delicious! Love pistachios:)

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  3. Love that perfect nuttiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. This dish is soooo something I would love to eat! Yum! Thanks for posting!

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  5. This pasta reminds me of a spinach pesto I make. Your photos are great and I love the wine selection.

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  6. Looks beautiful, great recipe and awesome choice of wine.

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  7. Gorgeous! And the prep sounds crazy easy. Can't wait to try this with some lime and cilantro... Maybe with some lightly cornmeal crusted tilapia?

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  8. Happy to have found your site. Now I'm hungry & needing some wine!
    Cheers,
    H

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  9. I have a friend who calls Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gringo! LOL!

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  10. This sounds amazing. Mmmm what a combination of flavors.

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  11. I love dishes like this - simple but a nice combo of flavors and delicious! I'm definitely bookmarking this for summer. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Ok, is there some pistachio convention going on? I have seen about 5 blog posts just today using pistachios. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE them, so I am not complaing. ;) Except for the fact that I want some of this right now, and I know I dont have pistachios at home! I will definitely be trying this, and your lime-cilantro suggestion as well!

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  13. Thanks for sharing this recipe. When the summer hits, using the oven, stove as little as possible is high on the list! And you're right about an orange and pecan versions!

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  14. That pasta sounds soo delicious as does the wine! :) The pasta is a great combo of flavors!

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  15. yay! Congrats on your top 9 post! Wonderful recipe! You just combined all my favorite ingredients... Cheers!

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  16. That sounds amazing. Mm! Can't wait to try that.

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  17. Just discovered your site through this recipe (which looks fantastic). Looking forward to giving it a try. Love the Oregon wine country!

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  18. This looks so goooood! I'm hungry as just looking at it. Great combination of flavors!

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  19. Love the top pic. It's genius. Looks delicious!

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  20. Good looking pasta and sounds delicious.Makes me want pasta for breakfast.

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  21. Its been a while since I've checked into your blog! I made a similar pistachio pasta awhile back - it was so delicious! I will have to try this recipe.

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