Cooking Pasta With Pesto Cream Sauce & Italian Red Swiss Chard

Like I said when I went through this week’s menu, this was the first time I ever tried cooking a recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Her recipe for Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce was right up my alley as I love, well, all of those things and am no stranger to cooking any of them. The recipe wound up being both tasty and really easy to put together, especially because we’ve got a bunch of basil in our mini herb garden. The only change I made was not using pine nuts because–as I Tweeted–those things are freaking expensive! What’s the deal with that?

Anyway, after getting the pasta together, I realized that I didn’t really have much in the way of a vegetable. I had picked up some red swiss chard at the grocery store to mix things up a little bit (you can only have asparagus and broccoli so many times a month without going a little mad), but didn’t have a recipe in mind. So when I came across Karen’s for Italian-Style Swiss Chard on AllRecipes.com, I went with it, mostly because it was the first one I stumbled upon where I had all the ingredients. The only change I made to the recipe was not using a full 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I’m not a big fan of the heat, so I just gave the jar a shake or two and went from there.

The Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce turned out amazing. With a little shredded Parmesan cheese on top it had that awesome basil-y, olive oily flavor that you expect, plus the creaminess added by the butter and cream. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a creamy basil sauce, but I’m definitely a fan. The chard though was another story. It came out pretty salty, so much so that I went back and double checked the recipe, thinking I might have accidentally used a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon. Nope. It’s supposed to be that salty. So, if I were going to use that recipe again, I’d modify it to use a lot less salt. Aside from that though, this was a great meal that wound up being just as good today for lunch. It doens’t get much better than that!

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