Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fettucini Alfredo & Hemp Seed Pesto with Simple Roasted Greens

Not often do people bring me raw ingredients and say "I want to see what you make with these." But when my parents came to visit, my mom was armed with a bag of hemp seeds and a challenge. I don't use hemp much, if at all really but I was eager to find something that would change my view.
This pesto came out better than any of my other pestos. It stayed slightly crunchy from the seeds and had a great nutty flavor.
I will definitely make this again, luckily I still have tons of hemp seeds left, so I can make some more to freeze for another time.

Thick, creamy alfredo sauce made with cashews, pine nuts and garlic tossed with fettucini and served with simple roasted brussels, broccoli and raw spinach tossed in nutty hemp seed pesto.

Fettucini Alfredo
1 cup roasted, salted cashews
2 tbl pine nuts
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbl fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, grated
pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbl freshly chopped parsley

In a food processor, process the cashews and pine nuts into a very fine paste. Add the water, lemon juice, grated garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a small sauce pot, bring to a very low simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Serve with cooked fettucini and garnish with fresh parsley.
Optional-strain the sauce with a fine sieve before tossing with the pasta. Because I was also eating this with pesto that was somewhat chunky, I didn't mind the texture of this sauce not being perfectly smooth.

Hemp Seed Pesto with Simple Roasted Greens
14 small brussel sprouts, ends cut off and sprouts cut in half lengthwise
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
6 tbl hulled hemp seeds
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
4-6 tbl extra virgin olive oil
fresh juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tbl nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Toss the broccoli florets and brussel sprouts with 2 tbl of oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Roast for 15 minutes until slightly charred and crispy. Remove from the oven and toss with baby spinach leaves.
In a food processor, combine the hemp seeds and walnuts. Pulse into a coarse paste. Add the basil, 4 tbl oil, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt. Process into a smooth paste and taste to season with more salt if necessary. If you want the pesto to be a bit more thin, add more oil to desired consistency.
Toss the pesto with the warm roasted vegetables.

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