Spinach Basil Pesto and Spring Vegetable Rotini

Hey there! 

If you've read the blogpost on my garden, then you know my family and I have been eating A LOT of green beans this summer! We've gotten pounds and pounds and pounds just in the month of June. I think they are nearing their end, however; and we've got a slight ant invasion we've got to take care of once we pull up the green bean plants (ANYONE GOT ANY TIPS?!). But we've been enjoying the fruits of our labor very much! 

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So because of the abundance of fresh produce we've had, literally at our fingertips, I've been in the mood for super fresh and nutritious meals that highlight our delicious, homegrown veggies. This meal definitely required the help of my little one as we had A LOT of green beans to snap. I really loved this little cooking moment with him because it brought me back to my grandpa's back porch in Ohio when me and my sister and cousins were tasked with snapping the green beans. No screens, no TV shows, no smartphones...the simpler times! I'm not sure if we were as thrilled to be doing this as my memory is making me believe but it is meaningdful to me now, looking back. 

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We've mostly just chopped and roasted these beauties with some EVOO, salt & pepper and they have been seriously perfect. There is a certain pride I feel when going grocery shopping and walking right by the green beans in a plastic bag and the tomatoes in a plastic container, and knowing that those colorful, crunchy veggies are growing right in my backyard. 

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One of my FAVORITE recipes I've created this spring is this most incredible Basil Pesto that is more like a saucy, creamy creation vs. a traditional pesto. I was really wanting to make some pesto one day but I've found that it can be a little dry, especially when you're talking about leftovers, so I knew I needed to double the recipe. However the thought of using an entire cup of oil in a recipe kind of made me gag a little. I also didn't have quite enough basil for a double batch. So you're probably thinking I should have just made something else at this point, HA! I almost gave up BUT then I saw that I also had some delicious fresh spinach from the garden and veggie stock that I needed to use up. So, TA-DA, this delicious green, pesto-y, pasta sauce was born. 

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You see? Creamy, saucy, deliciousness.

You see? Creamy, saucy, deliciousness.

And, you guys, this is SO easy to throw together. I simply boiled my fresh green beans, and store-bought peas with my pasta, threw all of the sauce ingredients together in my food processor, and that's all she wrote! SO easy, SO fresh, SO delicious. 

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Spinach Basil Pesto and Spring Vegetable Rotini

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Cups Basil, packed
  • 2 Cups Spinach, packed
  • 3 TBS Nutritional Yeast
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 12 oz. Gluten Free Pasta
  • 2 Cups fresh green beans, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen, defrosted) peas

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil your pasta according to package instructions. The particular brand that I use only requires about 7-9 minutes of cooking time and your veggies will need a good 5 minutes or so in the boiling water to soften. 
  2. While your pasta is cooking combine your pesto-sauce ingredients in a food processor and combine until a smooth consistency is reached. 
  3. Pour sauce over pasta and combine. Top with Cashew Parm and/or a fresh squeeze of lemon! 

 

I hope you make this and love it just like my family and I do! If you do recreate it, I'd love to see! Tag me on social media #plantbasedplanner @plantbasedplanner. ENJOY!