Thursday, July 24, 2014

Arugula Spinach Tomato Pesto (ASTP) with Gnocchi & Chickpeas

Aaaaahhhhhhh. The benefit of being (temporarily) unemployed is multifaceted, but one particular bonus is sleeping past 6 am. Every. Day.

Another bonus is having the time to do something other than work, study, or pack boxes. Unpacking.... well that's another story for August. In the meantime, trips to the farmer's market and shoe shopping for one particular upcoming wedding have been a much appreciated change of pace from the daily hospital grind.

Are you ready for another, absolutely delightful permutation of beans n' greens? Not quite to the eat-to-live standards (hello olive oil... and cheese.. and pasta) but full of healthy things nonetheless (arugula-spinach-tomato pesto = ASTP!). The ingredients for the pesto actually make enough for two nights. Use half today and freeze the rest.

The great thing about pesto in general is how forgiving it is. Don't have spinach? Add extra arugula. Prefer less garlic? Reduce it to three cloves. Where the heck to I find pepitas?? Use walnuts.

Arugula-Spinach-Tomato Pesto on Gnocchi & Chickpeas

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 5 min
Servings: 4  servings

3 cups packed fresh arugula
1 cup packed fresh spinach
6 cloves fresh garlic
¼ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or pine nuts
2 chives
6 large basil leaves
¼ cup virgin olive oil
1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1 - 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 500g package of potato gnocchi
2 oz herbed feta cheese, crumbled (I used tomato basil)

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Drop arugula and spinach into boiling water and allow to cook for 20 seconds. Then strain out greens and submerge in ice water. Reserve boiling water for gnocchi (step 5).
2. Peel the garlic and add it along with the basil leaves, pepitas, and chives to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is minced.
3.  Squeeze all of the water from the blanched greens and add them to the food processor along with the tomatoes. Pulse until finely chopped and well incorporated with the garlic mixture.  
4. With the processor running, add olive oil. Blend until well combined. Set half of the pesto aside and freeze for later use.
5. Add garbanzo beans and gnocchi to the reserved boiling water and cook according to gnocchi package directions.
7. Strain gnocchi and beans; scoop into serving bowls immediately. Divide the other half of pesto over gnocchi and sprinkle each serving with feta cheese. 

Calories 436, Total Fat 12.8 g, Cholesterol 12.6 mg, Sodium: 507 mg, Protein 8.7 g, Fiber 4.9 g

This was my first time using gnocchi, which are small, soft, dumpling-like pasta balls. They cook up super quickly, and were easy to find at Trader Joe's and the local grocery store. This ASTP has a great bite from the garlic and arugula, and is lightened up with the tomatoes so that it would be great on any pasta. Or, you can try it one of these other 10 Ways to use Pesto Beyond Pasta from The Kitchn.

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