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Pesto Orzo with Broccoli #ImprovCookingChallenge

 
I haven't been very good at participating in this group, but my good friend Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm was creating the HTML for the event and messaged me while I was on a hike. So, I threw out a title that fit the theme - Pasta & Greens - knowing what I had at home in the pantry. Done. Thanks for the nudge, my friend!

Welcome to the June 2022 Improv Cooking Challenge.  And I haven't been very consistent, but I love the idea of the group, so I will try to be better in the coming months.


The idea behind Improv Cooking Challenge: we are assigned two ingredients and are challenged to create a recipe with those two things. This month's items: pasta and greens. Here's what the crew is sharing with those ingredients... 

Pesto Orzo with Broccoli

Pesto is a sauce that originated in the Ligurian region of northern Italy. Pesto genovese, from Genoa, traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano. The name derives from the Italian verb pestare which means to pound or to crush, referring to the original way of preparing it - with a mortar and pestle. The ingredients in a traditional pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. Now I use a food processor. It's much easier! And...I use whatever greens and nuts I happen to have on-hand. So, for this version, I made a pesto with basil and almonds..

Ingredients

Pesto
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed, dried, and destemmed
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • juice from 1 organic lemon (I used Meyer lemon because my parents have a tree in their backyard)
  • olive oil as needed

Pasta
  • 1 package orzo, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces and blanched
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • olive oil as needed
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
Procedure
Pesto
Place all of the ingredients into the blender or the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, drizzle in a few glugs of olive oil, and resume pulsing.  Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.

If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time.  So simple. So fresh. So fragrant.

Pasta
Place pesto - as much as you like - in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add in blanched florets and cooked orzo. Toss to coat with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Serve immediately with some fresh whole basil leaves.

    That's a wrap on the June #ImprovCookingChallenge. The group will be back next month with recipes that use blueberries and dairy. Stay tuned!

    Comments

    1. Glad you joined us Cam. I love quick throw together meals,especially after a day of hiking.

      ReplyDelete

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