Store-bought Pesto almost always contains Parmesan Cheese, so I resort to making my own – luckily, it’s extremely easy to make! You do, however, need a small food processor as a blender doesn’t work very well (unless you have a really snazzy one…), and a good quality Olive Oil helps too. For this pasta dish I mixed my Pesto with some Silken Tofu for a Cream Cheese-y affect, but you can also just keep as is. It’s so tasty you won’t miss the Parmesan, I promise! Add whatever vegetables you like to this, but I think Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes make a great addition to any Italian meal…This is simple, delicious & easy to make, and if you already have the Pesto pre-made you can whip this up in less than 10 minutes.
3-4 generous Tblsp. Creamy Pesto (recipe to follow)
1 pkt. fusilli Brown Rice Pasta (or any other pasta you prefer)
1/2 Red Onion, sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 Portobello Mushrooms, chopped
1/2 Zucchini, julienned into long, thin strips and halved
1/2 Red Bellpepper, thinly sliced
a few re-hydrated Sun-dried Tomatoes, sliced
handful of Kalamata Olives, halved
3 Tblsp. chopped Artichokes, from jar in Olive Oil
1 Tblsp. Parsley
– Boil the Pasta according to packet instructions until Al dente. Drain, rinse and drizzle with a little bit of Olive Oil to prevent sticking.
– In a large Frying Pan, sauté Onions in Olive Oil until beginning to brown. Add Garlic & Mushrooms until Mushrooms begin to release moisture. Add Zucchini & Peppers and sauté until beginning to soften. Add Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes and mix well.
– Add drained Pasta to the pan and stir a few times until everything is combined, and Pasta is heated through. Mix in Pesto, stirring a few more times and then take off heat.
– Fold in Parsley and serve.
Basil-Parsley Pesto: (adapted from Nonna’s Italian Kitchen: Delicious Homestyle Vegan Cuisine (Healthy World Cuisine)
1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley leaves
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tblsp. Pine Nuts, toasted
1 Tblsp. slivered Almonds/raw Almonds/Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 tsp Salt
squeeze Lemon Juice (1/4 Tblsp)
4 Tblsp. Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
* 1/2 asceptic box of Firm Silken Tofu
Place everything in a food processor, and let it run until a paste forms. Refrigerate if not using.
* For Creamy Pesto: Add Tofu once the Pesto is finished, and process again until smooth. Keep in the fridge to firm up until using