Monday, March 7, 2011

Zesty Pecan Pasta

This turned out really yummy. The sauce reminds me a little of artichoke dip, and would be great even without the pecan topping, maybe as a side dish (served over the pasta). From Southern Living magazine.

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 (12 oz) package linguine
1 (14 oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (make sure they are NOT marinated)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves (a litttle strong. One might be sufficient if you're not a huge garlic fan)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

1. Heat pecans in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5-7 min. or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from skillet. Let cool 5 min. Stir together pecans, parsley and zest.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

3. Process artichoke hearts and next 5 ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid. Pulse 3-4 times until smooth. Toss with hot cooked pasta; season with salt to taste. Top each serving with pecan mixture.

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