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Main Dish

Vegetable Pesto Pasta, Vata-style

For variety, substitute one cup of yogurt for the pesto and sprinkle with chopped almonds or with toasted sesame seeds. Substitute ½ pound cubed zucchini for either the asparagus or the beans. The pesto recipe makes ample portions; refrigerate leftover pesto for another use.

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For variety, substitute one cup of yogurt for the pesto and sprinkle with chopped almonds or with toasted sesame seeds. Substitute ½ pound cubed zucchini for either the asparagus or the beans. The pesto recipe makes ample portions; refrigerate leftover pesto for another use.

Servings
6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or broken walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. dried whole wheat pasta
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

Preparation

To make pesto, place fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and chopped garlic in blender or food processor. With motor running, slowly add olive oil, adding more if needed, and purée. When smooth, set aside.

Meanwhile, bring saucepan of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat and sauté asparagus and beans, stirring occasionally, until cooked but not limp, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup pesto, stir thoroughly and cook until heated through.

Toss cooked pasta with vegetables and pesto, and serve.

Wine Suggestion

When matching a wine with this dish, focus on the basil, nuts, cheese and garlic, which call for a Zinfandel, especially if using the zucchini variation. Many California wineries make outstanding red Zinfandels—try Easton Wines Fiddletown Zinfandel.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 560
  • Carbohydrate Content 51 g
  • Cholesterol Content 5 mg
  • Fat Content 34 g
  • Fiber Content 12 g
  • Protein Content 16 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 6 g
  • Sodium Content 130 mg
  • Sugar Content 0 g