Want pesto, but not all the oil? Chop and add all of the traditional pesto ingredients plus just enough oil to flavor. Pro tip: the addition of parsley helps to keep this “pesto” green. It’s not essential, but your pesto will turn brown shortly after preparing if you leave the parsley out.
3/4 pound rotini pasta, any type
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for topping (if desired)
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, cut into strips similar in size to the pasta (¼” x ¼” x 1”)
1 head of broccoli, cut stalk portion in strips (¼” x ¼” x 1”) and head portion into 1” florets
¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
2/3 cup finely chopped basil (do NOT pack when measuring)
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (do NOT pack when measuring), optional
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ pound cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, optional
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions until al dente. If using gluten-free or high protein pastas, rinse pasta at the end of cooking.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and stir; add squash and broccoli before garlic browns and still well. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked but broccoli is still slightly crisp.
- Add pasta and crushed red pepper flakes to the vegetables and reheat pasta. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan if the pasta is sticking. Add basil, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Portion into bowls and top with tomatoes and pine nuts. If desired, drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
Makes 4 large servings
Substitutions: You can substitute chopped walnuts for pine nuts. You can also substitute other vegetables—like colored bell peppers, carrots, asparagus, and cauliflower—for the vegetables used in this recipe.