Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pesto Pasta Salad

At the end of last summer our wonderful neighbor asked if we would like some fresh basil. She said it was all going to seed and she needed to get rid of it. So we gladly helped her out and harvested cups and cups of fresh basil. What's a girl to do with so much basil? Make homemade pesto my friends. And so I did, can't remember the recipe. Just google something that uses pine nuts, Parmesan, pesto, olive oil, and garlic and you'll be happy.

But to make this pesto you could just use jarred pesto from the store. It doesn't take much and store bought pesto can be great (or terrible, I got the "Classico" brand once and it was good so maybe look for that).

This homemade pesto was delicious. I made a whole bunch and once and froze the extras. And thus we have fresh pesto in the middle of the winter (and I guess the "freshness" is relative if it's been frozen...).

The only problem is that I'm on weight watchers and a huge serving of pasta with pesto would take too many points. But the pesto was sitting there needing to get used.

So I made pesto pasta salad. With a ton of vegetables and it came out at only 4 pts per cup, which is amazing. Dieting or not you'll love this. Make it for meatless Monday, or if you don't think that's satisfying enough add chicken or salami and make it meaty. I don't care. Just make it.

It is good.

See look at this beautiful vegetable goodness (and this is before I realized that I needed to still add broccoli and carrots).
I wrote this up with measurements because I needed to calculate the WW points, but really this is one of those "use up all the vegetables in your fridge" kind of meals. Noticeably absent here are zucchini and squash, because I don't like those. But add them if you do, healthy! Also noticeably absent are tomatoes which I forgot to pick up at the store today.

Sad. We love tomatoes. It's okay, winter tomatoes are sub-par.

This recipe was still yummy. I used Ronzoni Smart Taste white pasta. It has added fiber but is still white. I've made whole wheat (or blend) pastas before. The taste is noticeably different. And I am not yet fully converted. So if you want to be healthier, use wheat.
Anyway without further ado here's the "recipe"

Chop the following:

1 1/2 c cucumber (I used English so I didn't have to peel it)
1/4 c green onion (2 onions, roughly)
1 c red bell pepper
1 c green bell pepper
3/4 c carrots
1 1/2 c broccoli
1/2 c red onion

Add the chopped vegetables to 7 oz cooked pasta (this is half a box of the type I got)

Toss in 1/3 c pesto

Add 1/3 c of feta (or more if you like...more would be better if you aren't dieting...)

Toss toss toss.

Serve as the main dish.

A 1 cup portion is 4 pts, for those of you who happen to be on Weight Watchers. So have 2 cups for dinner if you like! I had just 1 for lunch and found it filling.

3 little remarks:

*Aliese* said...

Mmm...I love pesto.

Ali said...

This looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing! Jeff loves pesto, so I'm sure he thanks you too.

Kaela said...

Evie is so cute! I like her haircut!! I have only had pesto a hand full of times, if that. I wrote a whole paper on pesto in college and love it, but haven't had it in years. I need to try this recipe- thanks for sharing!!

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