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September 29, 2021

Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta


Its Friday night…movie night….and of course pasta night. My family loves pasta and movie with pasta is all we want on Friday night. I always try to make healthy version of pasta, like adding whole wheat pasta, adding a lot of color veggies, homemade sauce to balance oil and salt or may be twisting original recipe just like I did with traditional pesto sauce recipe.


Pesto sauce as my son would say green sauce, can be prepared in tons of way incorporating varieties of green like, spinach, arugula, kale, avocado etc. along with basil.  And same goes for adding nut, like walnuts, cashews, almonds. Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto is my family new fav and this bright, aromatic pasta sauce is really quick, easy to make and as I said healthy too. In my earlier post I have shared Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto recipe, which I am going to toss with cooked pasta with wholesome sautéed veggies.  Try this with homemade pesto sauce, It’s really amazing! And you can try this sauce to make sandwiches, wraps and pizza too.



I do add veggie every time I make pasta to make it a complete meal, veggies add nice color and crunch to your Pasta. Being vegetarian, I feel this one the best way to incorporate green vegetable in my meal. I just toss whatever veggies I have in my fridge like bell peppers, squash, onion, corn, asparagus, carrots and garlic for sure. Feel free to add vegetable of your choice and preference….no rule here. 

Like vegetable feel free to choose any shape pasta you love. You can also choose healthy version of pasta like whole wheat pasta, chickpea pasta or veggie pasta. For this recipe I have added organic veggie pasta. Very important to remember is to cook your pasta in salty water and to al Dante.

Pesto pasta, if adding store-bought sauce either going make your pasta dry or super oily. Veggie helps to balance out that but best way to make shiny, less oily and moist pasta is to add pasta cooking water. Yes, save some of the water you cooked pasta in just before you drain. Pasta water blending with the pesto, really combines well that’s coats every bit of pasta and make it less dry. This process helps you from adding more olive oil and making pasta greasy one.

Lastly, never add pesto sauce while heat on. Basil or any greens cannot bear heat and can turns black. Cook pasta and toss everything in a bowl. Or if you are adding veggies, cook pasta in separate pot, sauté diced vegetable in a wide pan, switch off the flame, add pasta, and over the pasta add pesto sauce and give it a toss just like you toss salad.

As I say very simple recipe to prepare, just follow these few tips and you are going to make best weekend dinner ever. Give this recipe a try and enjoy!!!
 

Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Category: Lunch & Dinner
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Make Time: 20 Minutes
 | Servings: 4


Ingredients

1.

Rotini pasta, (Any shaped pasta will work)

400gm

2.

Oil

2 Tbsp.+ ½ Tsp.

3.

Garlic, minced

4-5 pc

4.

Onion, diced

1 large/1 cup

5.

Carrot, diced

2 big/1 cup

6.

Red bell pepper, diced

1 medium/1 cup

7.

Zucchini, diced

1 medium/1 cup

8.

Yellow squash, diced

1 medium/1 cup

9.

Broccoli

Small floret/1 cup

10.

Pesto sauce

Click here Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto recipe

1.5 cup

11.

Black pepper powder

To taste

12.

Salt

To taste

13.

Parmesan cheese

For garnishing

14.

Red chili flakes

For garnishing



Step By Step Instruction: [Hide Images]

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt and ¼ Tsp. of oil. Add pasta and cook pasta until al dente or as per packet instructions. Scoop out and save one 1-2 cup of water for later use, rest drain pasta, add ¼ Tsp. oil and keep aside to cool down a bit.
  2. Chopped/dice all the veggies and blanch broccoli.
  3. Heat oil in a wide pan, toss in all diced veggies except broccoli.
  4. Add minced/pressed garlic, sauté on medium high for 2-3 minute.
  5. Next add in blanched broccoli and sauté for 1 minute. Vegetable should not be over cooked, taste best when sautéed on medium high flame firm and crunchy. 
  6. Switch off the flame, add pasta pesto sauce, black pepper and salt and mix well, adjust the sauces and seasoning as per your taste.
  7. Garnish with parmesan cheese, chili flakes and serve hot.


Quick Tips:

  1. Homemade pesto sauce: For best result always use homemade pesto sauce for this recipe. To save time make sauce in advance. It can be stored refrigerated up to 1 week.
  2. Choice vegetable: Adding vegetable makes your pasta dish a complete meal, it also gives it a nice color and crunch. Feel free to add vegetable of your choice and preference.
  3. Choice of pasta: Like vegetable feel free to choose any shape pasta you love. You can also choose healthy version of pasta like whole wheat pasta, chickpea pasta or veggie pasta. Very important to remember is to cook your pasta in salty water and to al Dante or per package instructions.
  4. Reserve and use pasta water: Pesto pasta, if adding store-bought sauce either going make your pasta dry or super oily. Adding some of the pasta water you cooked pasta in, blends well with pesto, coats every bit of pasta and make it less dry. This process helps you from adding more olive oil and making pasta greasy one.
  5. Adding pesto: Never add pesto sauce while heat on. Basil or any greens cannot bear heat and can turns black. Cook pasta and toss everything in a bowl. Or if you are adding veggies, cook pasta in separate pot, sauté diced vegetable in a wide pan, switch off the flame, add pasta, and over the pasta add pesto sauce and give it a toss just like you toss salad.


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