Oct 7, 2010

A wink and nudge to pesto sauce-- your pasta just got healthier with 'chutney pesto'

We all like Pasta. Or shagetti. Even the short cut ones. Right? And we like them in sauces. Rich, creamy sauces.

My favorite is pesto sauce.  I love pesto. That garlicky-nutty-green-olive oil steeped sauce called pesto. Anything gets better with a spoon full of pesto. Except maybe our waistlines. I dread the calories in a tablespoon of that heaven-on-earth dip a la sauce. And with summer coming to an end (sniff sniff), we are all  soon gonna turn to comfort foods. That is code word for less of cooking, no grilling at all and sauces and potatoes and pastas will start to dominate our diners and lunches and possibly... even breakfasts!  

'Friends, bloggers and countrymen....here is an idea that could make this carb frenzy actually figure friendly. Its a solution actually. See if you like it!'

When I was still living with my parents, we usually had chutney as dessert. Tomatoes, mangoes..you know...the usual suspects. But my favorite was a 'chutney' which was really just a dip. My mom used to make it. With cilantro, garlic and green chili all mashed together.  I am not sure why she would call it a chutney, cos it wasn't sweet at all. But amazingly everyone in my family used to want so much more of that!  And not just family..but everyone who had the luck of having that 'green chutney' always asked her for that recipe. Turned out she learn't it from a Spanish friend of hers while she was studying language in Bonn.

Isn't it amazing..how we all like the same flavors all across the globe? 

So that is what I do with my leftover greens. Not just cilantro. But I use any left over greens-- Spinach, Mint, parsley, Arugula even green onions. Process it with tons of garlic and a green pepper. Always is a stunner in any meal. But a couple of weeks ago I took this concept to a whole new level. 

Listen up :)
I had some leftover greens (Arugula and parsley) and I was craving this pesto thing. A bright idea popped up. I processed the greens with garlic and pepper-- just like the green chutney-- and added a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tbsf mixed nuts and 2-3 tbsf water. I used that sauce for my pasta. Man it was an idea!! It tastes like pesto..only with calories which you can afford! 

And ever since I have been doing this variant of pesto sauce, I call 'chutney pesto'. And I have never felt so good about pesto before. So anytime you have a garlicky- green-salty dip, use it  as your pasta sauce. I tell ya..you will like it and your waistline will like it too-- hail, storm, thunder or snow. 

Today I am sharing two concepts of  'Chutney Pesto'

 One, by my friend Shab of shab's cuisine. Its a mint chutney  that I think will be terrific as a pesto substitution and two, my own version chutney pesto concept : A wink and nudge to pesto here :)


2 cup of leftover greens. Any combination or alone would do. I used Arugula and Parsley. I would recomend spinach and cilantro as well
1 green pepper. Spicy is good.
4-5 cloves of garlic
2 tbsf extra virgin oilve oil
3-4 tbsf water
1 tbsg nuts. Any is good
2 tbsf lime juice.
salt and pepper for seasoning.

Mix in a food processor and use it as a pasta sauce. Drop hot pasta into the sauce and mix well.Let stand. Also you can saute your al dente pasta in one tablespoon of butter, redden it a little prior to mixing in with the sauce. Will add an extra goodness to it and touches all the flavors you want in a pesto, yet surprisingly summery and healthy!

Happy eating and healthy living!!


Lyndsey said...

Great idea, it sounds wonderful. I love the photo, I want to jump right in and eat it all up!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Pesto is something I'm not familiar with. It's not that common in Southern food.

Will have to work on trying it. Looks good.

Jhonny walker said...

@ Lindsey: Thanks! do try the idea..you will be addicted to the low calorie feeling of it

@ Ramona: Pesto is a sauce made by pureeing together toasted nuts,a (or a combination of) herbs (usually basil and/or parsley), tons of garlic and streaming extra virgin olive oil. Its real yummy...but you can only guess the fat content :)

Bridgett said...

What a delicious take on pesto. Very creative.

girlichef said...

What a fabulous tip! I will definitely be remembering this :D

Jhonny walker said...

Hi Bridgett and Chief...glad you like the tip!

Sanjana said...

Whoah, what an idea! I totally agree that we can do without those pesky pesto cravings. I get them so much... I usually can't resist spreading a little into a panini. This will neutralise the craving! I love the concept. Simply wonderful. Thanks for the lovely comment you left me on the delicious, greasy samosas :p It really brightened up my day and brought a smile to my face!