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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.

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Servings: 2

Prep Time: 00:10

Cook Time: 00:20

Main Ingredients

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)

Preparation

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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