Pesto Pasta & Veggies

October 15, 2020

This recipe is from the cookbook Straight Up Food, by Cathy Fisher:

Preparation time: about 15 minutes

Cooking time: 7-12 minutes (for pasta)

Serves: 4 (makes about 1-2 cups of pesto sauce, 6 1/2 cups of pasta, and about 4-6 cups veggies)

Ingredients for the pasta:

1 (12 oz) package spaghetti pasta

1 ounce cashews, walnuts, or pine nuts, ground (about 1/4 cup, for optional garnish

Ingredients for Pesto Sauce:

2/3 cup water

3 ounces cashews, walnuts and/or pine nuts (about 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2-3 medium cloves)

2 ounces fresh basil (about 2 cups chopped)

Ingredients that I added:

1 cup cherry tomatoes (about 4 ounces), cut in half

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-1” pieces

1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-1” pieces

2 green onions, chopped (for sauce)

1 carrot, cut into 1/4” rounds

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

4-5 ounces of Organic Crimini Mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/4 cup Organic Vegetable Broth, to sauté veggies

1 cup Organic Spinach, roughly chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup cashews

1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s 21 Salute seasoning

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon Basil

1/4 teaspoon Oregano

1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder


• Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse it with cool water. Return the pasta to the pot, and set aside.

• To make the pesto, place all of the sauce ingredients (water, nuts, lemon juice, garlic, basil, and green onions) into a food processor, and process for about 1-2 minutes, adding a little water, as needed. You can also use a blender, which blends more quickly and results in a smoother sauce.

• In a large skillet, sauté the onions, celery, and garlic with 1/4 cup veggie broth. Sauté until onions are translucent.

• Add the other veggies to the skillet (zucchini, squash, and mushrooms). Don’t add in the tomatoes, and the spinach yet. Stir the vegetables in the broth. Sprinkle the herbs, and seasoning (21 Salute, Herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning, Basil, Oregano, Onion powder, & Garlic powder) over the vegetables. Stir together until all the seasoning is well incorporated into the vegetables. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes (veggies should be lightly cooked but still have a slight crunch to them, not mushy).

• After vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Add the spinach and the tomatoes to the cooked vegetables. Stir until well incorporated with the vegetables. Cover until you are ready to serve.

• Serve while still hot. You may wish to re-heat the pasta. Pre-mix the pasta with the homemade Pesto Sauce. Stir together until the pasta is well coated. Serve the vegetables onto a dinner plate, creating a doughnut shape. Fill the center of the veggie doughnut with the Pesto Pasta. Finally, you may top with a garnish of ground nuts (this is optional). Enjoy!

How did you modify this recipe? Please share in the comments. Thank you for sharing!

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