Whole wheat pasta with Basil Mint Pesto

Pesto Pasta Pesto Pasta Pesto Pasta…say that ten times fast 😉

It was a Sunday, which meant it was time to chop chop chop, sautee sautee sautee, and cook cook COOK!

The cuisine on everyone’s mind was Italian….and we were really craving some good, rich pesto. Pesto is close and dear to my heart…so its time to share the recipe 🙂

As usual, keep in mind that this is a pretty flexible recipe. I am just sharing with you my most favorite and recent version of it 🙂 Also, i made this for four people and there were leftovers…so of course feel free to adjust ratios accordingly.

Ingredients

1.5 medium/large red onions, chopped medium size really (not really small or big)
1 red bell pepper (green peppers also work, but we wanted the tang of red), chopped small/medium
1.5 medium tomatoes (roma tomatoes are best, but I used beefsteak since that’s what i had), chopped small
1.5 medium/small stalks of fresh broccoli, chopped small (you can use the stalks too)
1 cup of fresh kale, finely chopped
1 small bottle of kalamata olives, sliced in half (i learned my lesson this time not slicing them…def slice!)
1/3 cup of finely chopped pickled jalapenos (not fresh, the bottled pickled kind)
3-4 tablespoons of freshly chopped garlic (smaller the better)
olive oil
salt
oregano
red pepper flakes
1 box of whole wheat rigatoni
(I would have used asparagus as well but I didn’t have any. It’s a great substitute for broccoli)

You can find the Basil Mint Pesto Recipe here.

Directions

1. On medium heat, sautee the garlic and onions in 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the onions reach a stage where they are lightly sauteed and still look crunchy. Meanwhile, put the pasta on to boil.
2. Add in half a tablespoon each of red pepper flakes and oregano. Add in a pinch of salt.
3. Next come the veggies. Add in the peppers and jalapenos.

4. Let sautee for a few minutes. You should notice that the veggies are starting to lightly steam/sautee, but we don’t want soggy overcooked veggies, we want crunchy tasty flavorful ones, so don’t go overboard.
5. After a few minutes, add in the broccoli and kale. Also at this time, add in 2 spoons of pesto. This isn’t necessary, but I like to get some sauce coating the veggies while they are cooking.

6. Give it another few minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes. We want to sautee these the least because the contrast of tomatoes and pesto is supremely sublime.
6. Add the olives. These don’t need any cooking, just some general warming up and mixing of flavors.

7. When the veggies look colorful and crunchy yet also sauteed – its time to add the rest of the pesto. Add it all and mix it up. It won’t look like much, but don’t worry – pesto has a habit of being highly concentrated.
8. Add the pasta. You dont want too much pasta because the flavor of the pesto will be diluted, so there is a fine balance here. I added half of the box, but you may prefer a lighter or stronger pesto taste.
9. VOILA. yum. healthy. the whole shebang. Add in more spices depending on your taste preferences. Picture below:

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