This post isn’t just about pesto, it’s about Janet. She is my neighbor, but also a friend, and our book club organizer. She’s clever. She’s funny. And, she has a great head-on way of looking at the junk life dishes up, yet still finds something about it that’s funny. Best of all, she can cook! Between you and me, I am often way more excited about the appetizers she’s dishing up on book club night than I am about discussing the book-of-the-month
Janet has told me more than once that summer cooking is easy. Just make a couple of salads ahead of time, then throw meat on the grill when it’s time for supper. That may sound simple, but I was doomed before I began.
I am that person for whom “plan” is the worst four-letter word. I am a terrible procrastinator, easily distracted by sunshine, laundry, the workout of the day, and my goofy kids. This is compounded by the fact that
I believe I know I work better under pressure. The final nail in the coffin? I am a ”What do I feel like eating right now?” kind of eater – not so much a great predictor of what I’ll feel like eating 8 or 12 hours from now. Add all this up and whaddya get? The 5:15 “Oh, sh–, what the heck am I making for dinner??!”
Hats off to Janet. I finally pulled it off, motivated by the fact I was feeding not just my own family, but an entire other family as well. The pressure was on — just how I like it! While I apparently have no problem letting my own family down (“How does cereal for dinner sound?”) I apparently have higher standards when feeding friends. So, I forded the deep waters of distraction and came up with a workable plan. Yes, I am pretty darn proud of myself for that effort
The best part is, this salad is truly a cinch to make and only requires that you boil some pasta. YOU CAN DO THAT. Frozen peas, store-bought pesto, and grated Parmesan (fresh, if you prefer) are all it takes. And you’ve got one amazing pasta salad that NO ONE will claim lacks flavor or personality. You know the kind of salad I’m talking about. It’s practically shouts, “LOOK AT ME! I’M DELICIOUS!”
I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow…
1 lb. pasta, cooked al dente (I used medium shells)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 8-oz jar prepared pesto, like Classico
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add olive oil and stir to combine. Add peas, pesto, and parmeson, stir well, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Freshen up leftoevers the next day with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
Need some meal ideas? Serve this alongside Broccoli Sunshine Salad, and Teriyaki Grilled Salmon (recipe coming soon!)
THANK YOU, MIZZ JANET!!