Guide To Make Pesto Pasta Recipe Healthy Simple

Posted on

This isn’t your average pesto pasta recipe. We’re diving deep into the world of fresh flavors, healthy fats, and a satisfying meal that comes together in under 30 minutes.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, this guide will equip you with everything you need to create a restaurant-worthy pesto pasta dish at home. We’ll explore the key ingredients, provide step-by-step instructions, and even unveil the nutritional profile of this delightful dish.

Healthy chicken pesto pasta recipe
Healthy chicken pesto pasta recipe

So, grab your favorite apron and get ready to whip up a taste sensation!

Ingredients:

For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Pasta:
  • 1 pound dried whole wheat pasta (such as penne, fusilli, or rotini)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Make the Pesto:

  • In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Pulse until a coarse paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 2. Cook the Pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions, until al dente (slightly firm to the bite).

  • 3. Assemble the Dish:

  • Reserve about ½ cup of pasta water before draining the pasta completely.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the pesto, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Add a splash or two of reserved pasta water to create a silky sauce consistency.

  • 4. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Plate your delicious pesto pasta creation and garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.

  • Pro Tip: For an extra flavor boost, roast your cherry tomatoes before adding them to the pasta. Simply toss the halved tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly softened and blistered.

    Nutritional Facts (per serving):

    Calories: Approximately 500 (depending on pasta type and portion size)

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Sodium: 400mg (depending on cheese used)

  • Note: This is a general estimate, and the actual nutritional content may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.

    Conclusion

    This healthy and flavorful pesto pasta dish is a perfect weeknight meal that’s light yet satisfying. It’s packed with fresh ingredients, healthy fats from the olive oil and pine nuts, and protein from the cheese. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile! Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, cheeses, or even swap the whole wheat pasta for your favorite gluten-free alternative.

    So next time you’re craving a quick and delicious meal, give this pesto pasta recipe a try!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use store-bought pesto instead of making my own?

    Absolutely! There are many delicious store-bought pesto options available. Choose one made with fresh ingredients and high-quality olive oil for the best results.

    2. What type of pasta works best for this recipe?

    Any short, textured pasta like penne, fusilli, or rotini will work well. They provide nooks and crannies for the pesto sauce to cling to.

    3. I don’t like pine nuts. What can I substitute?

    You can easily replace pine nuts with walnuts, cashews, or even almonds. Toast them lightly in a dry skillet for a deeper flavor.

    4. Can I make this recipe vegan?

    Certainly! Simply omit the cheese from both the pesto and the pasta topping. Use a vegan Parmesan cheese alternative or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

    5. How can I store leftover pesto pasta?