Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fresh Pesto and Green Pasta

This week is all about the green. 4/20 and Earth Day? Time to reevaluate how you treat and perceive our planet. In celebration, I made a green vegetarian pasta with lots of pesto and veggies.

Making pesto is one of my favorite culinary pasttimes, especially when I'm home in New York. I love plucking fresh leaves off from my mini herb garden and using them in my recipes. The smell of freshly made pesto is simply the best.

Anyways, in honor of the holidays, remember to respect the earth. Not just this week, but every week. So here are two green recipes that are perfect for any day of year (but especially summer summer time!).

Fresh Pesto (yields about 8 oz)
1 bunch fresh basil, about 1.5 - 2 cups leaves
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley 
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic

1. Take all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Green Pasta (serves 6-8)
1 lb pasta (I used rigatoni) 
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 cups mushrooms
3 cups spinach 
2 cups broccoli rabe, chopped 
5 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh pesto 
1 cup cherry tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Toss zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil and a pinch of salt/pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned. 
3. Cook pasta according to directions. 
4. Sautee broccoli rabe and spinach in about 2 tbs olive oil with garlic until cooked. 
5. Add cooked pasta, roasted zucchini and mushrooms, and raw cherry tomatoes to the cooked greens. 
6. Mix everything with the fresh pesto. Serve immediately or chilled. 

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