Punky Pesto Pasta Party!

And now we have for you another Punky specialty!  Punky in its simplicity, Punky in its colorful fashion sense, and Punky in its POW flavor.  No need to stage dive to get your kicks here, just try my Punky Pesto Pasta Party!

My taste buds think it's gorgeous too...

My taste buds think it's gorgeous too...

Oh yes, this whole thing takes about twenty minutes – just the length of time you need to make spaghetti.  And it’s so pretty pretty and tasty tasty!  Savory pesto, smoky crunchy walnuts, sharp Parmesan, sweet tomatoes, and salty calamata olives – AND you can look at this pasta on your table and say, “You know, dahling, yooou look MAHVELOUS.”  This recipe is great for big groups or small intimate dins with PLENTY of leftovers.  And hey – it tastes just as good cold, so it’s a pasta and a pasta SALAD all-in-one!  Come with me…

Serves: Many

Big knife
Medium-sized pot
Pasta spoon
Regular spoon
Vegetable peeler
Serving bowl 

1 box of thin spaghetti
1 tub pesto
20(ish) walnuts
20(ish) calamata (Greek) olives
20(ish) grape tomatoes
Wedge of Parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil “sprig”

Fill your pot two-thirds of the way with water.  Dribble about a tablespoon of olive oil into the water and place on high to bring to a boil.

Now here comes the chopping.  Get your big knife and get ready.  Chop your grape tomatoes in half.  DONE.  Chop your calamata (Greek) olives in half.  DONE.  Chop your walnuts enough to get small, but not crumby, pieces.  DONE.

When your water is boiling, put in your box of pasta.  (No, not the actual BOX, you moron, just the pasta.  Jeez.)  I always break my pasta in half with my hands before boiling, but I’m told that is considered very gauche, (translation: UNCOOL), in real Italian circles.  Whatever – it’s easier to eat that way, so sue me, Roma.

Stir with your big pasta spoon to break up all the strands and get ’em moving.

Now I  know on the pasta box it tells you how long to boil the pasta for, and you’re welcome to set a timer or watch the clock if you’re one of those, but really people, you can just give it a stir every few minutes and see when it’s getting soft.  Test it by pulling out a strand and biting through – if you see white in the center and feel a crunch, it’s not done.

(I always say it’s good to use ALL of your senses while cooking.  You need more than just your sense of taste – you need sight, hearing, touch and of course, smell!)

(Do you like how I just reviewed with you the five senses?  Like you didn’t know?)

When the pasta’s ready, pour into a strainer and run some cold water through to rinse the starch and stop it from cooking.  You don’t want to completely cool it off, just like ten seconds under the cold tap will do.  And I can never keep straight which one is a “strainer” and which one is a “colander,” so just use that bowl-like thing with the holes in it, and call it what you will.

Now we’re ready to assemble the yumminess!  Pour the pasta into a serving bowl and unload the ENTIRE tub of pesto into it, spreading the aromatic heaven throughout the strands as evenly as possible with your fork and spoon.  Currently I like Buitoni pasta, so the tubs are this big:

It's bigger in real life, in case you were wondering.

It's bigger in real life, I promise.

Once you are thoroughly pesto’d, dribble the tomatoes, olives, and walnuts around the edges, all pretty like.  They’re all about to get tossed and messed-up anyway, but might as well make a pretty presentation.  (And for god’s sake, use a bigger bowl than I did in the top pic.  I’ve never seen pasta looking so claustrophobic.)

Using your vegetable peeler, shave off pieces of Parmesan, attempting to distribute evenly around the top, but accepting that they will fall wherever they damn well please.

Stick your sprig o’ basil in the center like a tent pole, and SERVE and ENJOY!

Mouth-watering tricolority...

Mouth-watering tricolority...

The crunch!  The squirt!  The AHH!  The MMMMmmm!  And all ready before you can say “PUNKY PESTO PERFECTION.”

This goes really well with the Greco-Roman Free-Range Chicken Breasts, or as leftover lunch pasta salad with the Thrilled Cheese Sandwich or even the God Save the Queen.  Hell, this pasta goes with bananas, meatloaf, ice cream, and kung pao.  Doesn’t matter what you serve it with, ’cause it’s STUPID GOOD, so just do it.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    “Mouth-watering tricolority…” Yeah, Baby!

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