Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vegan Spinach Pesto Pasta

Okay so many of you are probably beginning to think I have an obsession with pesto. Well, I agree with you and think I do as well. I don't know what it is about it but I just love it so much. I have really enjoyed finding many ways to eat it as well. I first stumbled upon a recipe on pinterest. I did some more research and then came up with my own unique recipe. I loved it and would definitely make it again, It is a nice summer pasta because it is really kind of light but filled with flavor. 

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
1 box pasta of your choice
1 frozen block chopped spinach
1 packet Vegan Pesto
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon minced garlic
olive oil
Vegan Parmesan 
3 large mushrooms
1 head fresh broccoli 
1 can white beans (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to directions on back of box.

2. Roast your pine nuts in a pan on medium heat. When you can smell them they are done. Place in a bowl for later. 

3. Make your pesto sauce. Make sure you defrost your spinach. Drain as much water out as possible and place in a food processor. Peel your garlic and add as well. Place the Vegan Pesto packet powder and about 1/2 cup olive oil in and blend for about 1 minute. Add half of your pine nuts and about 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan. If you feel you need to add more olive oil do so at this point. Continue to pulse in food processor until all ingredients are evenly mixed and mixture is smooth. Leave aside for later.

4. Cut your broccoli and slice your mushrooms. The size of broccoli is up to you. I like small pieces but some people like bigger pieces. Place in large pan with some more olive oil and the minced garlic. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until everything is soft. Set aside as well.

5. If you are adding the beans rinse and drain them. Place in a small pan on medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes. I added a few different spices such as Mrs.Dash, thyme, garlic salt and steak seasoning. This is up to you but it did add a little flavor to the dish. 

6. Once pasta is cooked drain and place back inside pot. Place your spinach pesto in and mix until it is evenly coated on pasta. Add your broccoli, mushrooms and beans. Mix until everything is evenly blended.

7. Sprinkle the rest of your pine nuts on top and serve hot  with additional vegan Parmesan! Enjoy :)

***If you do not have or can not find a Vegan Pesto packet feel free to use fresh basil. It has the same flavor and will taste great.

Also, if you want to use fresh spinach please do. I think it will be about 4 cups of fresh spinach and just place it in the food processor as well. It will have a fresher taste to it!*****