What fun thing did you do this St. Patrick’s Day weekend? Here in the Bay Area we were blessed with gorgeous weather. Though I grew up in San Francisco (and have seen the view countless times) I still couldn’t help but smile as I drew closer to the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday, especially since it was such a perfectly clear day. Tourists walked the length of the bridge, stopping every few steps to admire the view–Alcatraz, sailboats, the bay. Local cyclists rode across the bridge and I would guess that they stole a glance or two to admire the view, too. You can’t help it. As I drove across it I was tempted a few times to take a snapshot or two.
I made the drive north from the Peninsula to attend a cooking class at Cavallo Point Lodge. For over a year I’ve said I would attend one but my schedule has not allowed it until yesterday.
I had so much fun! I took lots of pictures; I’ll organize them this week and share the experience with you. For now, I’ll leave you with this very easy meal that was tonight’s dinner. It’s been a good day but a tiring one. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might know what’s kept me busy this weekend. In a nutshell, my husband and I took apart our stove and cleaned every inch of it. Not that it never gets cleaned, mind you–it actually gets a good cleaning every week–but one thing led to another and an attempt to spot clean under the hood turned into a big project. We removed the fan boxes under the hood, also the lights, scrubbed the inside and outside then ended up removing all the pots, pans, utensils and hooks to give everything a good scrubbing, too.
Though it took the better part of the day, it felt good to get it done but now I want to turn my entire house upside down and organize all the rooms, cabinets and closets. I’ve also decided to rebuild the under-utilized storage space next to my pantry. I have a feeling it will be a busy spring. Once I get in this clean-everything mood, there’s no stopping me. OCD? Me? Maybe just a little.
By the way, this green dish was prompted by a couple of things: 1) It required no cooking save for boiling the water. I want to maintain my stove’s spotless condition as long as possible. 2) It’s St. Patrick’s Day–had to make something green.
Oh, and it’s my third blog anniversary, too. Thank you for your continued visits and your encouragement. I never expected that L&A would last 3 years but here it is and it’s still so much fun. I look forward to sharing more delicious eats and great times with you.
Note: This is a small variation on my pesto recipe from the archives. I used to use a combination of pine nuts and pistachios but over the last couple of years I’ve taken to omitting the pine nuts entirely. I like the nuttier, drier quality of the pistachios, especially when they’re lightly toasted first. I added some cooked diced chicken breast for some protein and (non-traditional) radish sprouts simply because I had them and they lent a nice peppery kick. Fresh arugula would accomplish the same.
Penne with Chicken and Pistachio Pesto
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves I pack mine tightly
- About 1/2 cup olive oil I like to stir in up to 1/4 cup more after the pesto has been processed
- 1/2 cup pistachios toasted in a dry pan for 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat until fragrant. Cool slightly before processing with basil leaves
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic peeled
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Juice of about half a lemon
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 cooked chicken breast halves diced
- Radish sprouts or fresh arugula for garnish
Put all basil, garlic and pistachios in a food processor and process until the basil and pistachios are in small bits but not too fine, just a few seconds. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and add salt, to taste. I like to add more olive oil at this stage. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
To prepare the dish, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (a few minutes sooner than indicated on the package). Drain and toss with the diced chicken and pesto sauce (you may not need all of the pesto). Top with radish sprouts if you wish.