Monday, January 4, 2010

Pesto Pasta with Zucchini

{Meatless Monday}

I'm back!  Finally getting back into the swing of things.  Kids are back at school today...hooray!!  I love Christmas vacation, but I also LOVE going back to my routine!

This is a new recipe that I tried for the first time.  My husband and I and two of our kids really liked it.  The other ones ended up liking the noodles.  They didn't want to eat them at first, but once they tasted them, they liked them.  I have to confess that when we sat down to dinner, my 5 year old was making up a song about how she wished she were dead because we always eat gross stuff!  (I am not was kind of hilarious!)  But then she got a little lecture about how lots of kids die every day because they don't have anything to eat...that stopped her little tune.  ; )

So, if you are looking for an opportunity to talk to your kids about the starving masses in third world countries, maybe you should try this recipe!  ; P

Here's what you need:

2 large zucchini, sliced into half rounds
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off and raw (I had to substitute canned corn)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3-4 large mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. penne or farfalle pasta
Pesto (see recipe below)...that's what is in the little green homemade pesto
Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to directions.  Add corn (if using raw)for last 2 minutes.  Drain, but reserve some liquid.  Saute mushrooms and zucchini, and onion in a little olive oil 5-6  minutes, then add cherry tomatoes.  If you are using canned or frozen corn, stir in at this point and let heat for a couple minutes.

Stir in pasta and pesto.  Add some reserved liquid to make it creamier.   Garnish with parmesan cheese and pepper.

Here's the recipe for the pesto.

1 cup fresh basil
1/3 c. pine nuts
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 c. grated fresh parmesan
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

We had 3 ENORMOUS basil plants over the summer, so I made huge batches of pesto and froze them in my cupcake pan then put them all in freezer bags.  (Learned this trick in a favorite book:  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver)

When I need pesto, I simply set one of the little disks in a bowl on the counter for about 30 minutes to let it thaw.
We love pesto, but I made ALOT, so I've got to be on the look out for some good pesto recipes!

Happy New Year!!

ps...Great news for the sweet friend gave me a vegetarian cookbook (and a cute apron), so now I'll have lots of inspiration to try some different things!

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