We love how versatile and easy this recipe is! Cook up whatever veggies are in season and add to pasta and a 1/2 pint of pesto for the easiest dinner ever! Customize with your favorite protein or make up a batch of pesto dressing that doesn't have nuts (recipe for this below)!
In the middle of summer, with the high temperatures and great seasonal veggies, this meal comes together quickly and without a lot of fuss, and can fit your own family's tastes. Thrown in some leftover chicken or grill up your favorite protein and make it a meal!
We recommend green beans (because they can be cooked in the same pot with the noodles), but sauteed zucchini or steamed broccoli are equally delicious. If you haven't tried pesto because of a nut allergy, try the pesto dressing recipe below to make your own nut-free version!
Order pesto and a veg (green beans, zucchini, or broccoli) from our market, scrounge up a box of pasta from your cupboard, and dinner will be ready in no time! If you would like to make your own pesto dressing without nuts, order basil from the market as well.
12 oz. pasta, any shape (orzo makes a unique dish, but any will do)
1 bag of green beans (3/4 - 1lb) or 1 lb of zucchini, or 1 bunch of broccoli
1/2 pint of pesto (any flavor) OR Pesto Dressing* OR make your own pesto
To Make the Dish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While waiting for water to boil, wash and cut the green beans into bite size pieces (or do the same for the zucchini or broccoli).
When the water boils, add the pasta. Throw the green beans in with the cooking pasta when there is 5 minutes of cooking time left for the pasta. If using zucchini, saute them in a nonstick pan with a teaspoon of olive oil (while the pasta cooks) until crisp-tender.
Drain the pasta and beans and pour back into the empty cooking pot (if using zucchini, add it to the drained pasta in the pot). Add the pesto (start with half of the pesto), stir to distribute evenly and and add more pesto to taste (up to the full 1/2 pint if that is how your family likes it!). Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
Add grilled or cooked chicken to the dish (or grill/cook a protein of choice as the main dish and pesto pasta is a side dish).
*To make the Pesto Dressing: combine 1 1/2 cups basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2-3 cloves garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor and pulse until blended. With the food processor running, add 3 Tbsp olive oil in a steady stream. Continue blending until a smooth paste is formed, or until your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is adapted from the Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O'Connor.
- Amy Tix, Borner Farm Foodie