Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lemon Pesto Pasta

Today’s meal felt really indulgent without being heavy. Now, before you start yelling, I know we are on this whole Six Week Grind and pesto isn’t the healthiest choice in sauces. That said, you could make this recipe without it (though it is really awesome with it) or you could cut the amount you use. I will note that when the ¼ cup is spread throughout the trough of pasta the recipe calls for (serves 4), you won’t have that much per serving. In terms of tweaks for this recipe, I only changed the preparation of the vegetables. I roasted the broccoli. I also used cherry tomatoes, which I halved and roasted with the broccoli. It adds a bit of cooking time, but that’s how I like my vegetables, so for me it was worth it. You do what works for you and your tastebuds. Other than those tiny changes, I stuck to Pinch of Yum's recipe, which you can find here.

Lemon Pesto Pasta
8 ounces whole wheat penne
2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and roasted
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup pesto
¼ cup feta cheese
juice of ½ lemon
fresh basil

Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C. Toss broccoli and tomatoes in a tablespoon of olive oil. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, bring water to a boil and cook the penne according to package directions.

Once pasta is done, drain it and put it back in the pot you cooked it in. Stir in the pesto, garlic and lemon juice until they are evenly distributed. Add the vegetables and feta and fold until well combined. Chop basil and stir into pasta. Sprinkle with remaining feta before serving. Garnish with basil if desired.

p/s I am having a moment with lemon. The fresh, bright taste and smell add a pop to almost any meal. Look out for more recipes using it over the next couple of weeks. 

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