Roasted Tomato & Artichoke Pesto Pasta

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This colorful pesto pasta from the Blue Zones® Meal Planner is full of veggies and flavor—without any oil or cholesterol that you’d find in traditional pesto. The quick, throw-it-together sauce is made creamy and nutty with walnuts, refreshing with basil, and lightly garlicky with – yep! – garlic. Just about every vegetable makes an appearance here; kale, arugula, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, red pepper and mushrooms each shine boldly atop the bright green, whole-grain pasta.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic

2 cups kale

½ cup button mushrooms

½ cup cherry tomatoes

½ red pepper

1 cup no salt canned cannellini beans

½ cup canned artichoke hearts

1 lemon

1 cup pasta (whole-grain or GF)

¼ cup walnuts

2 cups arugula

1 cup fresh basil

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse produce. Peel garlic. Chop kale into thin ribbons. Thinly slice button mushrooms. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. For the red pepper, remove stem and seeds and cut into small pieces. Drain the canned artichoke hearts and quarter. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out into a container, removing any seeds as you do.
  2. Cook pasta (whole-grain or gluten free) according to directions on the package. Immediately after draining pasta, return it to the pot and add kale ribbons (the pasta should be hot enough to wilt the kale without having to return the pot to the stovetop).
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, button mushrooms, and red pepper pieces in a single layer. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tomatoes deflate, but are still juicy, and all veggies are slightly charred.
  4. While the vegetables roast, make the pesto. In a food processor, add garlic and walnuts. Pulse until finely chopped. Add arugula, fresh basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and black pepper to taste. Pulse to combine. With food processor running, slowly pour in warm water a little at a time until pesto reaches a thin, sauce-like consistency.
  5. Place the roasted vegetables, beans, and hot, cooked pasta in a bowl and pour on pesto. Sprinkle with extra nutritional yeast if desired.
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