The original recipe for this called for purchased pesto - like it's hard to make! lol :) I've included the pesto recipe I used. I also just found out you can freeze pesto for up to 3 months - little added incentive to just make it!
This dish is far from low-fat but the good thing is the majority of the fat is unsaturated... hey, have to make myself feel better for it somehow! Plus, it's a good source of protein since I used whole-wheat pasta and it has all that cheese! Eh, once in a while it's OK - not like I eat like this every day! :)
The zucchini was so yummy with the pesto and the grape tomatoes I used complemented the sweetness of the basil nicely (they also provided a nice contrast to the cheese). My only gripe about this dish was that the photo from the magazine was so pretty and mine just looked really messy! Needless to say, I did not take a photo of it. Maybe I should have taken a photo before adding the goat cheese or just sprinkled the goat cheese on top. Next time... ;) I can tell you, it tasted far better than it looked!
Pesto Recipe (this made enough for 3 [1/8 cup] servings of pesto)
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. dried parsley or 1/4 cup firm packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove, quartered (superfood!)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 cup olive oil (superfood!)
1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Cover and process with several on-off pulses until a paste forms, stopping the machine several times and scraping down the sides.
Pesto and Veggie Pasta
4 ounces penne, ziti, or fusili pasta
1/2 tbsp. olive oil (superfood!)
1/2-1 medium zucchini, sliced (you could also add some yellow squash to this if you have it on-hand)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (superfood!)
1/4 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 large tomato diced or 7-8 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced (superfood!)
1/4 cup pesto (recipe above)
1/4 cup soft goat cheese, cut into small cubes
Pesto and Veggie Pasta
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and then return it to the pot.
2. While the past cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and garlic to the hot oil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and simmer until the broth is almost completely evaporated and the squash is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes.
3. Add the squash mixture, pesto, and goat cheese to the pasta. Toss to combine.
I used the Summer Pesto Pasta recipe from the August/September 2005 issue of Cooking Pleasures magazine for this. I found the pesto recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1996 edition).