Friday, July 10, 2009

Pesto Pasta & Olive Oil (Without the Sweat)

Pesto Pasta & Olive Oil to Love

By Cal Orey
"Italians... seemed to never die. They eat olive oil all day long... and that's what does it."
-- William Kennedy

It's Friday. Translation: Time for R&R and fine food. In the A.M. UPS delivered a big package of French-style Richard Donnelly Chocolates ( ). Read: This is going to be an exciting weekend for my taste buds.
After a great swim (the pool was warmer than usual and almost all mine), a trip to the grocery store (the tourists hadn't arrived)--I decided pesto pasta was something I always wanted to make. Sure, I could have snagged the pre-made cold pesto pasta salad in the deli. Or, there was always the opportunity to buy all fresh ingredients--basil, garlic, olive oil, spinach--and make it from scratch. (I almost did this but I flaked.) And I admit it. In my book, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Revised and Updated, there's a recipe "Basil and Spinach Pesto" created by a pro chef. But I didn't and don't want to cook--not today.
Instead, I found fresh, all natural pesto sauce--Pesto Sauce with Basil, Garlic & Pine Nuts ( ). I even called the company and I was told to simply top the refrigerated sauce onto hot pasta (black olives are optional), and Parmesan cheese mixed with a bit of olive oil will make it perfect. And the ready-made container of pesto sauce doesn't miss the healthy mark either. It does boast some good for you nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and protein. Sure, 300 calories per 1/4 cup serving and 270 mg of sodium may seem over the top--but it isn't anything to write home about (or to your personal trainer, nutritionist or doc) if you balance the day with more potassium-rich, bloat-busting fruits and veggies.

I wanted to team my pesto with a new type of pasta shape. So, I grabbed a box of multi-grain farfalle (bow-tie pasta, an Italian fave) with promise of protein and omega-3. (It contains iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate--all good for you stuff.)

So, before the evening walk with my dog duo, it's off to the kitchen to whip up a pasta plate that will take about 10 minutes. Spinach salad with roma tomatoes and a splash of red wine vinegar and a piece (or two) of warm and soft whole wheat French bread (with crunchy crust) drizzled with EVOO should complete the light dinner. Once back home and settled in I'll do as the traditional Europeans do--snack on fruit. Fresh, seasonal and sliced sweet and juicy peaches will be perfect. Yes, simply fine without the sweat.


  1. Have to share. This pesto sauce is super good. I'm sure if I take the time to make it scratch it's prob better (like granola or berry pie with the TLC) but if you're looking for a quick and all natural pasta dish -- this is it.

  2. I like cooking and enjoy trying many things.