Pinyon Pine Nuts with Pasta
Have you ever eaten Pinyon Pine Nuts?
Chances are pretty good you’ve heard of and eaten regular ol’ pine nuts (aka pignolias). They’ve been a food source all the way back to Old Testament and before. They are still a primary ingredient in Mediterranean and Italian cooking. Classic pesto is made with basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and … tahdah … pine nuts!
But we’re talking Mojave Desert – southwestern U.S.A. That’s a long way from the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, nuts of the pinyon pine that grow at elevation in the mountains surrounding that desert have long been a favored food source as well. Fact is, pinyon nuts contain more protein by weight than any other nut or seed.
- 1 lb. of your favorite pasta style cooked al dente, drained, and sealed in zipper top bag
- 5 Tbs. olive oil (in total)
- ⅔ cup pinyon pine nuts, toasted
- ⅔ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil – drained and chopped, reserve oil
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves – roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley – roughly chopped
- ⅛ cup fresh cilantro – roughly chopped
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- crushed red pepper flakes - optional
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 3 Tbs. of olive oil and bring to temp.
- Add the pre-cooked pasta and stir-fry until it just starts to crisp – about 10 minutes.
- Move pasta to serving bowl, then add remaining 2 Tbs. of olive oil plus 1 Tbs. of olive oil reserved from tomatoes to skillet.
- Add toasted pinyon nuts and tomatoes. Stir over high heat for about 2 minutes.
- Pour hot mixture over pasta.
- Top with fresh, chopped herbs and cheese. Toss together.
- Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and more cheese to taste.
Pinyon Pine Nuts Add Texture to Soup
- 4 cans of black beans – drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium onion – finely diced
- 1 leek – carefully cleaned and finely sliced
- 2 jalapeno chiles – seeds removed and finely diced
- 1 clove garlic – smashed and minced
- 4 cups water
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 4 Tbs. cilantro – roughly chopped
- 4 Tbs. mint – finely chopped
- ⅓ cup pinyon nuts – toasted and chopped
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- hot sauce (optional)
- Open two cans of black beans. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
- Heat Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add olive oil, then onion, leek, jalapeno, and garlic to sauté.
- Add beans and water, then bring to boil.
- Simmer until beans are heated through.
- Add salt.
- If you want, puree half the beans in a blender until smooth and the return to pot. (For rustic type soup, skip this step.)
- Add yogurt and reheat, stirring in pinyon nuts and cilantro.
- Reserve some nuts for garnish along with mint.
- Serve, allowing diners to add hot sauce to taste as desired.
Check out more great 50 Campfires recipes for great pasta campsite meals.