Pesto and pasta: two words that are music to my ears!
When I first started cooking, I would incorporate as many “shortcuts” as I could into my meals. From canned soups to canned sauces and vegetables (even canned chicken!), I always thought I was making life a little easier and saving myself time. But years ago, I started to realize how incredibly simple it is to use fresh ingredients and make my own sauces and salad dressings. I found that it doesn’t take any extra time out of my day and always tastes flavorful and fresh. Plus, I feel better knowing what’s going in my food and being able to control all the ingredients!
Homemade pesto is one my favorite things to make from scratch. It’s a great 5-minute topping for grilled chicken and fish (pesto shrimp is uh-may-zing), freshly baked bread, or even as a sandwich spread. But my best way to use pesto? This easy weeknight pesto pasta!
To make the pesto, throw fresh basil leaves, olive oil, a freshly squeezed lemon, pine nuts, and two garlic cloves in a blender or food processor. In the meantime, cook brown rice pasta to al dente and saute mushrooms, asparagus, and spinach leaves. Combine the pesto and brown rice pasta, then toss with vegetables. Add salt and pepper, and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese!
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 box brown rice pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pkg baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 10 - 15 asparagus, bottoms trimmed, and sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 10 ounce baby spinach leaves
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender for about 1 minute, until pesto is smooth.
- Boil brown rice pasta to al dente, according to directions on the box. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, then add mushrooms and asparagus. Cook until tender, then lower the heat and add the spinach leaves, until the leaves wilt.
- Combine the pesto and pasta in a large bowl, then toss with sauteed vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste.