I have noted in earlier posts that I used to not like PESTO (good English?). Not only do I now like pesto, I add the pine nuts. My 15 Minute Healthy Pesto Pasta is made the traditional way using basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and olive oil. The recipe for pesto is so simple yet it packs so much flavor. What was I thinking. I feel like Mikey. (Check out the youtube video.) Do you remember who Mikey is? He was the kid in the Life Cereal commercial that wouldn’t eat anything.
So what is the origin of PESTO? A number of sources state that pesto originated in Genoa, Italy. It is thought to have been developed in the 16th century. I learned that the word derives from the Genoese word pesta which means to pound or crush. Originally the sauce was made using a mortar and pestle. I used the food processor which took maybe 1 minute to prepare including the prep time. What I found interesting is that the word pesto really means anything that is pounded – not just this basil sauce that we have all come to know.
My 15 Minute Healthy Pesto Pasta was put together in less than 15 minutes. It is also a recipe that one can take advantage of what you have left in your vegetable drawer. To add texture and flavor, I grabbed from my fridge and added red onions and yellow peppers. I also had some grape tomatoes on hand. The dish had great colors contrasting the green of the pesto with the yellow of the peppers, the red of the tomatoes and the purple of the red onion. I also was careful not to cook the vegetables too much so that these vegetables maintained some bite.
The pesto ingredients in the food processor, and then, blended all together.
The veggies sautéeing in the skillet.
The cooked noodles added to the skillet and the pasta finished off with the pesto.
The pesto and pasta fully mixed and topped with Parmesan.
The 15 Minute Healthy Pesto Pasta plated.
- 1 pound of pasta (noodle of choice)
- 1 bunch basil (approximately 6 ounces)
- 3 - 4 whole cloves of garlic
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of pine nut
- 1/4 1/2 cup of Parmesan, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 slice of red onion
- 1/4 yellow pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup grape red tomatoes, halved
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to box instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the pesto ingredients (about 1/4 cup of the cheese) in a food processor and pulse.
- Begin drizzling 3 tablespoons olive oil while processing.
- Process until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add the remaining olive oil to a skillet on medium heat.
- Once warm, add the onion, pepper and tomatoes and cook for 4 - 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in the pasta and mix.
- Next, add in the pesto and mix fully.
- Top with the remaining cheese.
- Serve and enjoy!