I may or may not have a secret love life with Pesto. I love everything about him from his dairy free, herby, nutty, personality to his beautiful color and versatility. And I love to just eat him up with a spoon. Every now and then, pesto and I go out on the town. We normally meet up with pasta and veggies. We have a grand ol’ time.
I thought I’d share this pairing with you. This version of pesto is good for many reasons—summery, inexpensive, and easy.
So enough about my love life. On to the ingredients to create your own affair.
8 oz. dry linguine or fettuccine (I use half whole wheat and half white)
8 oz. zucchini, sliced
8 oz. pkg. peeled fresh baby carrots, halved
½ cup olive oil
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp. dry mustard (I prefer to use a little Dijon mustard instead)
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
Cilantro and/or finely shredded orange peel and/or orange juice (optional)
Meat or Cannellini Beans for protein (optional; we LOVE cannellini beans in any Italian recipe. We normally sauté them with onions. YUM!).
Note: the veggie listings are easily substituted with whatever you have on hand and whatever sounds good. I’ve used snap peas, cabbage, spinach, and they’ve all tasted great.
- Cook pasta according to package, adding zucchini and carrots (and any other veggies) during the last five minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water.
- For pesto, peel and quarter one orange. You could also take some zest from the peel and add it to the pesto. In a processor or blender combine orange, olive oil, cilantro, 1 tsp. salt (I don’t add this much), mustard, garlic, and red pepper. Add pasta water or orange juice until you get the consistency you want.
- Peel and chop remaining orange. Toss orange, pasta and veggies, and pesto all together. Top with more cilantro and orange peel. Makes 4 servings
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens. You can view it here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pasta/garden-veggie-linguine-with-cilantro-pesto/