White Bean Pesto Pasta
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne, uncooked
- 1/4 cup basic basil pesto (Recipe below)
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannelloni or white northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons parmesan, shredded
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to plate, and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and return to pan.
- Mix in pesto, tomatoes, and beans. Serve with a tablespoon of walnuts and 1/2 tablespoon of parmesan per serving.
Basic Basil Pesto
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, (1-2 bunches)
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted (See tip below)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 large clove garlic, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Place basil, spinach, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, parmesan, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally. Serve with cooked whole wheat pasta.
To toast nuts on the stovetop, heat a large dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the nuts and stir often. When they are fragrant with a light-brown color, remove from the heat. This should only take a few minutes. Let nuts cool on a plate or paper towels before using.
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