Ever since I’ve started weaning my baby, my fridge is full of green veggies for him. Very small part of it goes into the baby food and rest of it, I have to use in our food coz I don’t like to store the fresh veggies for more than 2-3 days. So, thanks to him, we are having lot of green veggies!
Amongst all pasta sauces, basil pesto is my favourite. To make it more healthy and most importantly, to finish the veggies in my fridge, added spinach, broccoli and avocado to it. Rocket leaves or arugula can be a great addition to it, if you like the taste.
Obviously, you can make it with any type of pasta but I have my preferences. I like fusilli and I mostly use whole wheat pasta.
You can add any stir fried veggies to it, like bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli or sundried tomatoes or even cherry tomatoes. You can also add shredded grilled chicken to it. I’ve added only bell peppers which were available in my kitchen.
I do not use any oil for making pesto as try to avoid oil as much as I can & I eat it fresh and do not store. I only use oil while boiling pasta and for stir frying vegetables.
Instead of pine nuts, you can use walnuts, pumpkin seeds or pistachios. But I don’t like the bitter taste of walnuts in my pesto & pistachios or pumpkin seeds, I’ve yet to try.
Actually parmesan cheese is used to make pesto. But I find it easy to add just 1 cube of cheddar cheese which is always there in my fridge. I use minimum cheese just for desired consistency and some flavour.
Let’s go to the recipe now……
Spinach leaves: 2 cups
Avocado: 1 medium sized
Broccoli florets: 1 cup
Fresh basil leaves: 2 cups
Pine nuts: handful
Cheddar cheese: 1 cube
Garlic: 3-4 cloves
Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
Pasta: 2 cups
Veggies: bell peppers or mushrooms or broccoli etc
Salt to taste
1. Boil pasta in 4 cups salted water. Add half tablespoon olive oil to water to avoid pasta sticking. Boil until it’s cooked. Drain the pasta and keep the pasta and water aside.
2. Saute broccoli until it’s tender.
3. Boil spinach leaves.
4. Grind pine nuts, cheddar cheese and garlic until smooth. Then add basil, avocado, broccoli and spinach and grind again. Add some water while grinding to get paste like consistency. Use the water which you have kept aside after draining pasta so that pesto gets absorbed well into your pasta coz of starchy water. Add salt as per your taste.
5. Stir fry available veggies.
6. Take a large bowl. Toss pasta, pesto & veggies without heat. Avoid heating basil as it darkens with heat.
& your healthy pesto pasta is ready!
Pesto pasta can be a complete meal on it’s own or you can have it as a side dish with grilled chicken or grilled veggies!!!
For me it’s a complete meal!