Healthy Vegetable Pesto Pasta
  • Alaina Hinkle

Healthy Vegetable Pesto Pasta

This whole quarantine has brought about a lot of changes & relalizations in our lifestyle. One of them was that I always thought I was good at utilizing leftovers.... then I realized I actually was never that great at it--- but now I am a full gone PRO :) Then it actually strangely enough gives me joy to find something to use all my items for! I have always felt like I wasn't wasteful, but now I am even more aware. It feels good to use up your food so it doesn't go to waste, on top of making something SO delicious that you want to make over & over. So essentially the kitchen is yet again a place of joy for me.

This pasta was created from having left over herbs in the vegetable bin, that I wanted to make sure didn't go to waste. Along with other veggies as well! My dad at first was not excited about it, because it was a vegetable pasta with no dairy in the sauce... however he took a bite & was like " this is REALLY yummy" then he went back for seconds :) I am telling you this sauce, down to the noodles, everything is YUM. This is one of those times, where I just wish I could make a huge batch so you can all eat it & realize how much you should make it! So don't want any longer-- check it out below :)


Cilantro Parsley Pesto-

-1 cup of raw cashews

-1 cup of fresh cilantro- take the bunch, break it in half with some of the stems & fill the measuring cup

-1 cup of fresh parsley- take the bunch, break it in half with some of the steps & fill the measuring cup

-3 Shishoto Peppers ( I have not tried jalapeño with it, but sure you could do 1 de seeded in place of these 3, will add a little more spice! let me know if you try it that way!!)

-1 large lemon juiced

-1 cup olive oil

-1 tbsp white wine vinegar

-1 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-1 large garlic clove cut in half

Directions for pesto sauce:

1. In a medium bowl pour the 1 cup of raw cashews & fill with warm water, covering the cashews. Let the cashews soak in the water for at least an hour, at most 2 hours. This gives the sauce a more creamy texture.

2. Then drain the water & leave the cashews in the bowl. In a high power food processor add in the soaked cashews, cilantro, parsley, shishoto peppers cut in half deseeded, juice of one large lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic clove. Pull for 1 minute. Then blend until creamy about 3 minutes. After, pour in white wine vinegar & salt/pepper to taste, blend again for 1 minute.

3. Then refrigerate until needed at the end of the recipe!

Ingredients for the Pasta-

13 brussel sprouts

1/2 yellow onion diced

2 garlic cloves minced

3/4 of a cauliflower head, broken into large florets

3 tbsp olive oil ( plus more if needed)

1 large portobello mushroom

1/4 cup red wine

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp pepper

4 oz goat cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 box of Cavatappi Pasta ( 1lb)


1. Cook pasta per box directions, rinse with cold water & then set aside.

2. In food processor add in the cauliflower florets. Pulse until it becomes medium to small pieces, a lot like cauliflower rice, but I do like leaving some bigger pieces in there as well. Pour out into a large bowl & set aside. Then in same food processor add in the Brussel sprouts, then pulse until they are finely shredded, then add into the big bowl as well.

3. You will need a large dutch oven 8qt pot or your favorite t cook pasta dishes in [ a large frying pan will not hold all the yumminess, link the type I'm referring too! Make what you can work :) ], In your pot/pan add the pine nuts to coat the bottom of the pan, not overlapping. Turn on medium heat. Let them toast for about 2-3 minutes on each side, tossing occasionally. When they start to turn brown & toasty by look & smell, transfer to a small bowl to cool (they will top your amazing pasta!)

4. In that same frying pan add the 2 tbsp of olive oil & let heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add in the chopped yellow onion & garlic cloves minced. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the sliced portobello mushroom. Sauté in the garlic & onion, tossing for another 2 minutes. Then break apart the butter on top of the it. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt on top & could grinds of pepper. Toss until butter is fully melted over mushrooms & starts to dissolve. Then add in the red wine. On medium heat, let the mushrooms simmer in the red wine, stirring occasionally until almost all the liquid is dissolved.

5. Then add in the shredded Brussel sprouts & cauliflower mix. Toss to evenly coat with the garlic onion, mushrooms & leftover butter red wine. Add 1 more tbsp of olive oil ( add more if needed) Add in 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder & few more grinds of pepper, then cook for about 8 more minutes on medium heat, turn to medium low if need be.

6. Then turn stove on medium low. Pour in the cooked noodle stir until fully incorporated. Then grab the yummy sauce you made & then pour all of the yummy sauce on top. Stir until fully covering everything with the sauce. Then sprinkle 1/2 tsp more salt, then break apart the goat cheese on top. Then give it another create stir to incorporate it all with the goat cheese.

THEN SERVE :) Sprinkle yummy toasted pine nuts on top & a wedge of lemon to drizzle on top as well. SERIOUSLY one of my new favorites & cannot wait to make it again. Do yourself a favor & make ASAP


Thank you for looking at this scrumptious recipe!! Remember to follow me @honestfoodie_blog and #honestgrubhonestfoodie to let me know what you are making!

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