Photo Credit: Anita George
If you had told 7-year-old me that I’d someday write a blog post about pesto pasta I would have shot you a withering stare and promptly said “Blechh!” or “Ewwwwwwww!” or “What the heck’s a blog?”
It was the nineties and I was not yet a fan of pesto, and the Internet in my tiny world fit neatly within the confines of AOL Kids Only.
But now I’m an adult who has grown out of her disgust for green things and into a struggle to find healthier lunches to eat at her full-time job.
(Though little-kid me would just love to simply subsist on frappuccinos and pizza everyday, my stomach and wallet would no doubt protest vehemently.)
Which brings me to today’s recipe. It has an abundance of green things, and lean and healthy fats and proteins. The pasta took me about 15-20 minutes to put together and most of that time was just me waiting for the pasta to cook.
I pan-fried two salmon filets at about 5 minutes for each side, which took about 20 minutes total, not counting the time it took to cut and trim the skin off the filets.
This dish is a combination of two recipes: one for pan-fried salmon and one for a pesto pasta dish with asparagus.
The recipe, as I have prepared it, is also rife with substitutions and omitted ingredients and steps, based on how much time I usually have to cook things (which is not much), and my own personal tastes (I’m not always in the mood for citrus or sun dried tomatoes.)
That said… Here’s what you’ll need to make the meal I just enjoyed not five minutes ago.
For the pasta:
angel hair pasta
1 box frozen asparagus spears/cuts
salt and pepper
store-bought pesto from the refrigerated section (The pesto I used, as far as I know, does not contain pine nuts, but uses ground almonds instead.)
shredded italian blend of cheeses (parmesan, mozzarella, provolone)
For the salmon:
2 or 3 salmon filets (6 oz or less each)
salt and pepper
How to get it done:
- Cook the pasta as you normally would, according to package directions. Microwave the asparagus according to package directions.
- Drain the water from the pasta once it’s done but leave the pasta in the pan. Drain the excess water from the asparagus and then add it to the pasta.
- Add olive oil, and salt and pepper. The amounts of each will vary according to your own tastes. Stir to combine. Keep the heat from the stove on low to help the flavors soak in better.
- Add a few tablespoons of store-bought pesto (Again, it will vary according to your own tastes)
- Stir in a few tablespoons of shredded cheese.
- For the salmon: Heat your pan on medium heat and then add olive oil
- Top your salmon filets with salt and pepper, and then place your filets on the pan.
- Cook each side for about 5 minutes (a little less or more depending on how big/thick they are.) Cook until they are opaque.
Overall, this dish was uncomplicated, quick and very yummy.
And notably: even though it is a pasta dish, I did not feel logy afterward. It was a light but flavorful and satisfying meal: perfect for #thatworklunchlife.
I hope you’re all having a lovely Christmas Eve! I also want to thank Natalie of Tastes Lovely and Chungah An of Damn Delicious for their recipe posts, which were the inspiration behind today’s edition of Pinterest Perfect.
See you next week!