5 Quick and Easy Everyday Recipes with Pesto Sauce. Vegetarian Recipes.

Make your own delicious pesto sauce and keep it beautifully green

Add more healthy and delicious food option to your daily menu. Pesto sauce can turn plain everyday meal as pasta, salad, soup or sandwich into a culinary masterpiece. How to make pesto? It`s easy.

Pesto means Italian sauce. Originated in Italy, in the Liguria region in Genoa (Pesto Alla Genovese). Traditional ingredients in pesto are usually basil, garlic, salt, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, cow cheese and sheep cheese.

Pesto is traditionally prepared in a marble mortar with pestle. Making basil pesto by hand with a mortar and pestle gives a tastier end result than making pesto with a food blender. A mortar and pestle will crush and smear the ingredients into a paste, creates the flavored oil. While a food processor will chop and slice them into a mince.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups of basil leaves
  • 1/2 Cup parsley leaves
  • 1/3 Cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (Make your own vegan pesto using nutritional yeast instead of cheese)
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Tip: Blanch basil leaves for 5 seconds first. Blanching the basil really make pesto stay green for longer.

Directions

  1. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the basil and parsley in a sieve and plunge it into the boiling water, pushing the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for 10 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain immediately, squeeze the herbs dry, then transfer to the blender or food processor.
  2. Combine all ingredients for pesto sauce into the blender and mix well. Add more olive oil depending on how creamy you want it.
  3. Store the pesto in a small, covered container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Pasta Salad with Tomato and Pesto Sauce

A colorful pasta salad with an Italian twist! This is an absolutely incredible recipe. Every time I’ve made it I’ve had to double it.

Add balance to your pasta. As you know, the classic Italian pasta is prepared from varieties of durum wheat, which is a product with high protein and gluten content. But honestly, I can not imagine my life without pasta. I’ve tried different types of gluten-free pasta, but these products are often made from cheapest starch varieties from Asia, but pasta’s cost twice as much. Starchy food also is not good for our body. So, I’m just buying a good quality Italian pasta or high fiber whole-grain pasta. The problem is that we eat too much pasta at a time. For balance, I add to the dish as many rich in fiber vegetables as possible. It works great. So, just keep the balance!

Tip: Cook all pasta al dente. Anything cooked beyond firm and chewy loses its health benefits and much of its flavor. Organic varieties are highly recommended.

How to cook pasta properly:

  • Always make sure you cook pasta in a large pot with plenty of water. The general rule is to use 1 liter of water per each 100g of pasta.
  • Once the water comes to a hard boil add salt, roughly 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt per liter.
  • If you cook spaghetti, take a bunch of spaghetti and twist them before you place them in a pot of boiling water, this will help the pasta not stick together when cooking. If you cook short type of pasta, stir the pot as soon as possible, then repeat one or two times during cooking.
  • When you get close to the end of the estimated cooking time, taste the pasta. If it is ready, it should have a nice al dente bite and taste like pasta. If it is undercooked, it will have a stiff and chalky center, if it’s overcooked your pasta will be limp and soggy. Bite and observe the pasta: the external is more yellow than the internal that is white. When the internal white is a small spot the pasta is al dente.

Ingredients

for Pasta Salad with Tomato and Pesto Sauce

2 Serves

  • 200g Farfalle pasta
  • 1 Fresh mozzarella ball or 6 pcs bocconcini cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • One punnet of yellow tomatoes or red cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Pesto sauce
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Pasta must be cooked al-dente. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Let the pasta cool down then combine in the salad bowl with sliced fresh mozzarella (or bocconcini) cheese, quartered tomatoes, chopped sundried tomatoes and pesto sauce. Garnish with some extra basil leaves. Mix at all and serve.

This salad is a great dish for lunch box.

Tip: Remove excess of juices and seeds from fresh tomatoes. Otherwise, the salad can be too watery.

Vegetable Soup with Pesto

A warming and delicious soup that is packed with seasonal fresh vegetables. Versatile and easy to make, I invite you to play around and swap in other veggies for new flavor nuances each time you make this soup.

You could try adding in cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, capsicum or root vegetables to change up the flavor profile of your soup.

Originally from Provence, the soup is meant to use the lovely vegetables of the season and is crowned with a spoonful of pistou sauce in the middle of each bowl. Pistou is somewhat similar to the Ligurian sauce pesto, although it lacks pine nuts. Some modern versions of the recipe include grated parmesan, pecorino or similar hard cheeses.

The Italian version of this soup is called minestrone. Minestrone can also be served with pesto.

Ingredients

4 Serves

  • 1 Big carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Cup of baby green peas
  • 1 Cup of small pasta (capelli, risoni, small shells or macaroni)
  • 1,5 Liters Goog quality stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • A knob of butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For garnish:

  • + 1/2 Cup of pesto

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook carrot and parsnip until caramelized but not crisp. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and pasta, continue to simmer until pasta is tender. Add green peas and cook another 2 minutes.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the pesto. Serve immediately with cheesy toast.

Green Beans Pasta with Pesto

Packed with green vegetables, tossed with pesto, this pasta recipe can be a healthy nutritious dinner or a warming and nourishing lunch. Pasta, green beans, and pesto are a great combination.

Green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses filled with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They are rich in chlorophyll, which alkalinizes the blood, and fiber, which keeps the colon healthy. Nutritionists recommend eating one-half cup of green vegetables each day to prevent nutrient deficiencies and serious illnesses. There are many varieties of edible green vegetables, and they are most nutritious when eaten raw or lightly steamed.

Ingredients

2 Serves

  • 200g pasta (I like farfalle, fusilli or penne)
  • 1 Cup of French green beans, ends removed
  • 1 Cup of baby green peas (I use frozen)
  • 1 Cup of shelled broad beans
  • 1/2 Cup of Pesto sauce
  • 1Tbsp Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Pasta must be cooked al-dente. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside.
  2. Put French beans into a steamer or colander set over a pan of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 3-5 mins or until crisp-tender. Don`t allow to overdo the vegetables. It`s very important to keep green color and vitamins. Repeat this steps with baby green peas and broad beans.
  3. Combine pasta with pesto and vegetables, add some pasta water, if mix too dry. Mix well and serve on pasta plate. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Mozzarella Sandwich with Tomato and Pesto

This Italian style fresh and juicy tomato sandwich includes only four ingredients.

The first rule in the Italian cuisine is to use the freshest ingredients. Choose rustic, artisan, chewy sandwich bread, soft mozzarella balls right from brine and sweet juicy heirloom tomatoes.

Ingredients

2 Serves

  • 2 Ciabatta buns
  • 1 Fresh Mozzarella or 4 Boconcini, sliced
  • 2 Ripe sweet tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup of Pesto sauce

Directions

Tuck slices of tomatoes and mozzarella into a warm crusty ciabatta bun, add a dollop of pesto sauce. Hold sandwich together using knotted bamboo picks.

Green Orzo Salad with Pesto

Just look at this pasta, it looks like rice, but actually isn’t. Risoni or Orzo is a type of pasta which has the shape of long-grain rice. This kind of pasta is perfect for soups and salads.

I like to use risoni for green salad with pesto, tasty and simple, you won’t be able to stop at one serve of this risoni salad.

You can also serve this salad warm during winter time.

Ingredients

2 Serves

  • 1 Cup of risoni pasta
  • Bunch of asparagus
  • Bunch of French beans, ends removed
  • Small head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 Cup of baby green peas
  • 1/2 Cup of Pesto sauce
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Boil the risoni pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente according to packet instructions. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Put vegetables into a steamer or colander set over a pan of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 3-5 mins or until crisp-tender. Don`t allow to overdo the vegetables. It`s very important to keep green color and vitamins.
  3. Let the vegetables cool down then cut French beans, asparagus, and broccoli into smaller pieces.
  4. Combine in the salad bowl vegetables, pasta, and pesto sauce. Mix at all, dig with the fork and enjoy!

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