Recipe: Fresh Basil Pesto Pasta

Fresh basil pesto vegetarian pasta!

I don’t know about you, but I will tell you there is something special about growing and eating your own veges and herbs!

I became inspired after spotting a baby basil plant from Aldi supermarket, of all places, and decided to take him home with me. From then, my little garden has expanded to include mint, rosemary, thyme, garlic chives, spring onion, dill, chilli, mini capsicum and some flower varieties for good measure. 

The beautiful thing about freshly grown herbs is that they add flavour and excitement to otherwise not-so-exciting dishes. Not only that, but other foods that we would typically use for flavour can often be high calorie (cheese, oils, fats, sauces) or high sodium (salt, soy sauce, seasonings) neither of which are good for our health.

And I don’t know what it is, but there is definitely something very therapeutic about growing your own plants…

I used my basil plant (which was growing exceptionally well – too well I might add) to make a delicious basil pesto pasta, and I have shared the recipe below. 

First, you need to make the pesto…

Photo: From a plant to a dip... Mmmm FRESH basil pesto is the best! ❤

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups firmly packed basil

1/4 cup pine nuts or blanched almonds

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbs lemon juice

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded

2 tbs olive oil

Method

1. Place basil, garlic, lemon, parmesan and pine nuts into a food processor and whiz until blended

2. Slowly add the olive oil whilst continuously whizzing into a smooth paste.

Will last for about 5 days in the fridge.

Now for the pasta…

Photo: Meat free Monday! Used my freshly made pesto and added to quinoa pasta with tofu, fresh beans, broccoli & zucchini. Absolutely delicious ❤

Ingredients

Quinoa pasta 1/2 cup cooked (you can use ordinary pasta if you like, but you can get this from health food stores – is gluten free)

1/2 cup green beans chopped

1/2 cup broccoli diced

1/2 cup zucchini grated

100g tofu (or you can use chicken breast if you prefer)

Shredded parmesan to serve

Method

1. Boil kettle, then pour the boiling water into a small saucepan. Add pasta and cook for approx 15 mins or until al dente.

2. While pasta is cooking, chop the broccoli, green beans and zucchini. Place them into a steaming container or a bowl with cling wrap and microwave for 2 mins on high

3. Dice up tofu (or chicken breast) and microwave for 1 minute once the veges have finished.

4. Drain pasta when it is done, and add veges and tofu to it.

5. Finally, add the pesto sauce to taste (I used approx 1.5 level dessert spoons) and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Enjoy!

Dani.

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