Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Whole wheat pesto pasta with veggies

 Homemade pesto is the easiest and best way to spice up and ordinary meal.  This week's meal was inspired by all the beautiful, fresh produce I found at the verduleria and my last remaining goat cheese from Tandil.  I loved all the different colors and textures of this one.  Super quick and tasty!

The outcome, not the best photo of all time!
- 1 package whole wheat pasta (I choose a tricolor one)
- Fresh basil
- Handful of chopped walnuts or other nut of choice (pine nuts are the traditional, but super expensive here so I usually use almonds, but had walnuts this time.
- Sharp cheese (I use goat, but usually use parmesan)
- 1 eggplant - cut into bite size pieces
- 2 carrots - sliced
- 1 bell pepper - chopped
- 1 onion
- garlic (1 bulb for pesto and 1 for veggies)
- 15+ cherry tomatoes
- olive oil, salt, and pepper

Directions: First make the pesto by adding the basil, 1 garlic bulb, 1/4 cup shaved cheese, a handful of nuts, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor.  Then add about a 1/5 of a cup of olive oil.  Most recipes call for more oil until the pesto become paste like, but I find that you have to add so much oil that it's greasy and unhealthy.  So I just add a bit of water until it starts becoming a paste.  I also usually add about half a container of queso finlandia if I'm going to use it on sandwiches etc.  In this case, I didn't because it seemed like overkill.

Add chopped onion and garlic to a pan and saute until golden and clear.  Add eggplant and peppers and cook for about 5-7 min. When eggplant is nearly done, add carrots.  I hate overcooked carrots, so I add them last.  Cook until eggplant is done.

In the meantime, bring salted water to a boil and add pasta cooking until done.  Drain pasta, add veggies, cherry tomatoes, and pesto to your liking.  Voila!

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