Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Slimmed Down Pesto, Pasta and Peas

Since my husband is working late tonight and is getting a $5 footlong… I get to make my favorite go-to/standby, pasta with pesto and peas! I probably eat this meal once a week, either for lunch or dinner, a side or a main course… it doesn’t matter, I love it! Since I eat it so often, I’ve found a few ways to slim it down.

While pesto doesn’t seem to fat and calorie laden, it is! EVOO is very good for you, but it is high in calories and fat, especially when paired with parmesan and pine nuts! I also don’t like oil tastes, so I’ve made my own sort-of pesto that is low in fat and calories, but still very flavorful!

To round out this meal, try adding some stuffed chicken, found here, or chicken meatballs, found here.

Slimmed Down Basil Pesto with Peas and Penne for One
¼ lb. mini penne
1 c. frozen peas
½ c. slimmed down pesto, recipe follows
Slimmed down pesto:
1 c. packed basil leaves
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
¼ c. chicken or vegetable stock

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt heavily. Add pasta. Cook until it is 1 minute from ready, drop in peas. Cook for 1 minute, drain, and add back to the pot.

While pasta boils, add all pesto ingredients to a food processer, blender, or my favorite, the magic bullet. Pulse until combined and desired consistency is reached. (You may need more or less stock).

Pour down over the pasta to heat through, serve with a bit more parmesan grated on top. If you pasta is too dry, add more stock with the pesto already mixed in, if it’s too wet, let it cook a bit on the stove to dry out, mix well while it’s heating through.


Liv said...

I'm so happy you made this slimmed down version!! I LOOVE pesto like whoa and resent the fact that I can't eat gallons of it. Now I can! hahaha

Jenn said...

I leave out the olive oil too (maybe add 1 TBSP) and go with the stock too. It definitely makes it lighter and healthier.