Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pesto Primavera

Over the past 3 1/2 months I haven't eaten as many veggies as I have in my entire adult life.  And I am not talking mashed potatoes or french fries here, but healthy, tasty vegetables.  We have a year round Farmer's Market and are taking full advantage of not only the quality and selection, but the prices are unbeatable.

After receiving the pasta primavera recipe in the recipe swap, we made it three times and wanted to change it up before we grew really tired of it.  My husband recommended adding a pesto sauce to the primavera.  The great thing about this dish is that it can be changed with just the different veggies you decide to throw in each time.  Some other veggies to use are: eggplant, asparagus, and any bell pepper.

Pesto Primavera
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
2 small yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, cut into eighths
1 zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1 lb. penne pasta

2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts (I omitted)
1/2 cup EVOO
kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Combine the basil, garlic, & pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add 1/2 cup of oil and process until smooth.  Blend in grated cheese and season with salt & pepper.

Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Mix olive oil and seasonings in a small bowl.  Arrange cut veggies onto a baking sheet.  Pour olive oil mixture over the veggies.  Bake veggies for approximately 20-25 minutes in the oven, adding the cherry tomatoes for the last 10 minutes.

While the veggies are baking, prepare the pesto in a food processor.  Also, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.  In a large bowl, combine pasta with veggies and pesto.  Add the reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time and mix after each time.   (I only used 1/2 cup of the water).

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