Pasta With Fennel Pesto
Orecchiette with Fennel Pesto
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian fusion
Author: Vaishali Honawar
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta (you can use any small-shaped pasta here, including penne or even macaroni or orzo. I used orecchiette which is one of my favorite pastas). Cook according to package directions and drain.
  • For the roasted vegetables:
  • 1 fennel bulb , cut out the leaves and set aside for the pesto.
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • Dice all the vegetables into 1-inch chunks and place in a baking dish. Add:
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Roast the vegetables in a 400-degree oven , stirring a couple of times during cooking, until they are fork-tender and coated with a balsamic glaze. This took me about 35 minutes.
  • For the pesto:
  • Leaves reserved from the fennel bulb , chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic , chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but great both nutritionally and for that cheesy flavor)
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor (except the olive oil) and process until coarsely powdered. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil until you have an even paste.
  2. Place the pasta, roasted veggies and the pesto in a bowl. Add:
  3. /4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts.
  4. Mix well and serve immediately.
  5. (Tip: For an even more fennel-y flavor, add 1 tsp lightly toasted fennel seeds to the pesto)