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Croatian Coast Green Pasta
Pasta cooked in broth and flavored with a minty pistachio pesto makes a wonderful bed for the protein of your choice. Developed for www.nanettesfeast.com, adapted from a recipe in the March 2016 issue of Cooking Light magazine.
Prep Time: 00:10
Cook Time: 00:20
1/4 cup packed fresh mint
1/4 cup packed fresh basil
2 tablespoons packed fresh dill
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce grated fresh parmesan or asiago (approximately cup)
1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 ounce shelled dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
salt to taste
1 tablespoons plus teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 - 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or red onion
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 ounces spaghetti or linguine, gluten-free if you like
1 handful fresh baby spinach and/or baby arugula, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 pound scallops or pound shredded chicken (optional)
1Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor til chopped. Reserving 1 tablespoon pistachios, add the rest of the pistachios to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Slowly pour in 2 tablespoons oil; process until you have pesto; it can be a little more coarse than regular pine nut pesto if you like.
2Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to hot pan; swirl to coat. Stir in shallots; sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in stock, adding 1 teaspoon of salt if stock is unsalted or low sodium; add pasta and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring occasionally (note: if using gluten-free pasta, be sure to check cooking times, which vary; only boil until pasta is done). Remove pan from heat. Stir in pesto, chopped greens, and chopped tomatoes.
3If using scallops, mix salt and paprika on a small plate while pasta cooks. Rinse scallops, pat dry, and coat both sides with salt/paprika mixture. Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2-3 teaspoons olive oil. Add scallops to oil and cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side, until golden on outside and barely cooked through on the inside. If using chicken, simply place in a bowl near the cooking pasta; the heat from the pasta pot should warm the chicken sufficiently.
4Divide pasta mixture among 2 soup or pasta bowls; top evenly with protein (or not), and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and more paprika, if desired.
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