Pappardelle with Dandelion Pesto

Our kitchen is reeling Spring in slowly.

Pesto is a favorite when we're craving a pasta night. We haven't been making too much of it lately, because I can happily eat three servings of it and deeply regret that decision five minutes later. But pesto keeps it lighter, and maybe a little bit guilt free. 

If you've been seeing dandelion greens but weren't sure how to use them, pesto is a good start. We used almonds for that necessary nutty flavor. There are so many possible variations, and I just saw a recipe on the Kitchn for Dandelion Pumpkin Seed Pesto that I think we will have to give that one a try next. 

All meals are made just a little bit better with a fried egg thrown on top, and this is no exception to the rule. Cook the egg to your liking (my preference varies between slightly runny to not very runny at all) and dig in. This is one that is good with a little bit of a runny yolk. It mixes with the pesto and makes everything extra delicious.

Pappardelle with Dandelion Pesto

1 nest pappardelle pasta (substitute linguine or spaghetti if you cannot find pappardelle)
1 large egg
1/4 cup dandelion almond pesto (recipe below)
red pepper flake & parmesan cheese for serving

In a large pot over high heat, bring 2 quarts salted water to boil. Once boiling, cook pappardelle until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1/4-1/2 cup cooking liquid. Drain pasta and set aside. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, Cook egg until whites are set and yolk reaches desired runniness, about 5 minutes depending on preference.

To serve, gently toss pappardelle with pesto and 1/4 cup cooking water (add more if necessary). Top with fried egg, red pepper flakes, and a parmesan cheese.

Dandelion Pesto

1 large bunch dandelion greens, washed and dried
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse to combine 1/3 of greens with 1/4 cup olive oil. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add the remaining greens. Add almonds, garlic, generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. Add cheese and additional 1/4 cup olive oil, process until everything is smoothed out. Taste and add more salt as necessary.