Artichoke & Asparagus Pesto Pasta

veggie pesto pasta
veggie pesto pasta

Artichoke & Asparagus Pesto Pasta

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Packed with fiber, these Springtime veggies help you lose weight. High-antioxidant content makes them cancer-resisting superfoods. If you aren't a vegetarian feel free to add some sauteed shrimp for a full fledged haute & healthy gourmet dinner.
Course Main Course
Servings 7
Calories 366 kcal

Ingredients
  

Spring Vegetable Pasta

  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed, blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 red onion, cut into thinly sliced rounds
  • 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella, reduced fat, shredded
  • 1 lb whole wheat penne
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoon extra vigin olive oil
  • 2 oz fresh pesto

Christine's Pesto

  • 2 cup basil, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, reduced fat
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash, trim and blanche asparagus.  Save the water you boiled the asparagus with for cooking the penne.
  • Cook penne according to package directions using asparagus water. (This will boost the nutrient value of the pasta.)
  • Set range to medium-high heat.  In an extra large frying pan sauté asparagus, artichoke hearts and red onion in olive oil until onions begin to caramelize.  If you don’t have an extra large frying pan, do this in batches. 
  • Deglaze pan with vegetable broth or your favorite white wine scraping all the brown bits from the pan.  Deglazing simply means adding the vegetable broth to the hot pan and scraping the brown bits loose from the bottom with a spatula. Next add 2 tablespoons of pesto and lightly sauté until pesto is evenly distributed.  
  • Add pasta and grape tomatoes and lightly toss with a set of tongs.
  • Plate and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. 
  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Slowly pour olive oil into mixture as it is processing.   Blend for about 45 seconds or until mixture looks bright green and thick.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 18gFat: 10g
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