Em’s Pesto Pasta with my Homemade Pesto Sauce: Vegetarian and DELICIOUS! (Possibility of gluten-free and vegan!)
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4-5 portions
I love it when other people cook delicious vegetarian food for me! That’s what my friend Em did with this nutritious, tasty and healthy pasta and I must share it with you guys (: I’ll also share my recipe for homemade pesto sauce!
Even though this is a pasta recipe, it’s super healthy and it contains everything we need in a meal: protein (pine nuts and whole wheat pasta or brown rice pasta for gluten-free), the win combo that is iron with vitamin C (spinach and lemon), vitamins (basil, garlic) and taste! I also like to serve it with steam cooked vegetables as a side.
Tip: You can make it vegan by replacing the Parmesan with nutritional yeast both in the homemade pesto recipe and the final touches.
Ingredients for the Homemade Pesto
-1.5 cups fresh basil (if you don’t have enough basil or want to change things a bit, mix it with fresh spinach and/or parsley)
-2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
-3 tbsp pine nuts
-3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (or nutritional yeast)
-1-2 tbsp squeezed lemon juice
-A pinch of salt and pepper
-3 tbsp olive oil
-Optional: 1 cup fresh spinach
Transformation Time for the Homemade Pesto!
-Using a food processor, mix the basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, lemon, salt and pepper
-While blending it the mix, add the olive oil and keep blending until you get the desired texture (I like it with some pieces of pine nuts, when it’s not completely homogeneous, but that’s up to you)
-Use it right away :) Or you can put it in a jar and let it sit in the fridge for up to a week!
Ingredients for the Pesto Pasta
-1 box or 450 g whole wheat or gluten-free pasta
-1 cup homemade pesto sauce
-1 extra tbsp pine nuts
-1 cup fresh spinach
-1 tbsp freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (or vegan cheese, or nutritional yeast)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Optional: 2 more tbsp of freshly shredded cheese for a gratin
Transformation time for the Pesto Pasta!
-Cook the pasta: boil a large casserole of water with a pinch of salt, add the pasta, wait for it to cook, then strain
-In the same casserole where you cooked the pasta, add a bit of olive oil then the cooked pasta. Add the pesto, then mix with a wooden spoon.
-To the pasta casserole, add the nuts, then mix
-Then, add the cheese and the spinach
-Mix and put the pasta in a glass bakeware/roaster. You can perfectly serve it this way with some steamed vegetables as a side.
-Optionally, you can do a gratin: add the rest of the cheese on top and leave it in the oven for a few minutes at 200 C / 400 F for a gratin (I’ll admit I added too much cheese for the gratin in the picture below and didn’t leave it long enough in the oven!)
-Serve immediately (: