Artichoke Pesto Pasta

Admittedly, I hadn’t yet expressed this goal of mine publicly, but I have hoped to update this blog around lunch time (while my daughter is napping, in other words!) during the week days with my latest favorites. I fell behind due to feeling a bit under the weather earlier this week and also because I made up a few recipes on my own (that turned out wonderfully – all this cooking and baking is somehow affecting me!), and wasn’t sure if I ought to share them or not since they’re not as well manicured as the average recipe in a cookbook 😉

As I felt remorseful about not posting any deliciousness yet this week, I found myself drooling thinking about the incredibly easy, fast, and delicious Artichoke Pesto Pasta I made a while back. This has GOT to be a recipe I make many more times, and keep a close grip on… It was awesome. So, clearly, it’s the first thing I’m going to post now that I’m back!

It’s almost absurd how easy it is to make. You essentially process some ingredients together while making pasta, and then mix it all up and VOILA! Delicious, seemingly fancy meal with lots of raw ingredients to give you fresh nutrients from greens as well as healthy fats from raw nuts! Paired with whole grains, and it’s a definite winner. If you want to make it seem all the more luxurious, I think sprinkling some smaller basil leaves in it would be a beautiful touch of color and extra taste.

Artichoke Pesto Pasta

(adapted a little bit from this recipe here)

Makes: 6 servings, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb or more of whole wheat/grain pasta of your choice
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped (or any raw nuts – I used a combination of walnuts and pine nuts)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves (minimum! I vote for more), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or dried parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (if you aren’t vegan, you could use parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper, optional & to taste (I don’t think I used any – the yeast added enough saltiness)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup reserved pasta water

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, begin sauce by pulsing nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped and blended.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it becomes a smooth sauce.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired. Reserve some pasta water before draining pasta.

3. Drain pasta and put it back into the pot it cooked in. Pour the sauce over the pasta.  Stir together, adding pasta water as needed to thin the sauce to cover the pasta and keep sauce consistency creamy.  Best when served immediately, but also keeps in the fridge for little while – though I wouldn’t know how long, because it doesn’t last in our home for long!