This is one of those pasta dishes I throw together when I want something gorgeous and tasty and healthy, all in under 30 minutes.
Gee, did I just make a Rachel Ray sound byte there? Oh well… you get the idea. This dish has a ton of healthy flavors packed into it: spinach, nuts (I used cashews, but you can substitute almost any nuts or even sunflower seeds, my favorite), green beans, olives, and all the time it takes is about the time you need to boil your pasta water and cook the pasta. It’s also a great dish to use up all those half-full boxes of pasta that you– if you’re like me– have sitting around in your pantry. Just mix and match. Easy.
Better, you can add to this just about any veggie you set your mind to. Roasted eggplants, if you have a little more time, would be great in here, as would roasted bell peppers, or artichokes.
For anyone who likes to read me ramble on (can’t imagine who that would be!), this post is going to be a bit of a disappointment because I’m going to cut off now and get back to all those other things I need to get done so I can have a worry-free weekend to look forward to! It’s crisp and sunny outside here in DC with the temperature at a very manageable 50 degrees, and the weekend’s going to be even better. Yay! Think of it, if you have similarly lovely weather in your part of the world, this is the perfect dish to throw together in a hurry so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
Have a great weekend, all!
- 1 pound of wholegrain pasta (I mixed up half-boxes of penne and rotini. Use any small pasta here). Cook it in plenty of salted water per package instructions until al dente.
- 1 cup olives , cut into rings or whichever way you want
- 2 cups green beans , cooked (I used frozen ones pre-cut in 1-inch lengths and toss them into the boiling pasta water for the last five minutes that the pasta is cooking. They turn out just perfect.)
- 3 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
- For the pesto:
- 4 cups of baby spinach
- 1/4 cup cashew nuts (substitute with walnuts, roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, or even the more traditional pine nuts)
- 4 cloves of garlic , smashed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use less if you want to, but I like my pasta with plenty of olive oil!)
- 1 tbsp white miso (substitute with salt to taste if you don't have or want to use this)
Place all pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until everything's broken down into a rough paste
Place the pesto and pasta in a bowl, and add all the veggies and sunflower seeds. Check salt. Mix together thoroughly and serve.
Desi took the camera and the pasta outdoors to get these pretty pictures of the pasta in the changing afternoon light, against a backdrop of rust and green in our Fall backyard. Hmmmm. There’s something so perfectly wistful about this time of year.