I don’t make pasta dishes often, but this one gets requested, and everyone that I’ve served it to has loved it. It packs a lot of flavor and vegetables, so you can have your pasta and it’s a healthy choice. I worked in an Italian restaurant for several years, and we never had pesto – which I wish we would have and I’d have been hooked on it for much longer.
1 16 oz package of brown rice pasta (I chose penne)
1 small head of broccoli, chopped (about 4 cups worth)
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons white cooking wine
1 and 1/4 cups olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
*Optional – goat cheese or feta cheese crumbled for topping
Start off preparing the water for the pasta, it’ll take longer than the rest of the meal and follow package directions to make the pasta el dente.
For the pesto, add the olive oil, lemon, and pumpkin seeds into a food processor. You can also use a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds up but I don’t have one. Once the pumpkin seeds have been ground up finely, add the parsley, cilantro, and salt. Mix well till everything is combined.
Put the broccoli and mushrooms into a large pan with the white cooking wine over medium heat for just a few minutes for them to cook and absorb the wine.
Slowly add the pasta and pesto with the vegetables, stirring up so everything gets coated with the pesto sauce. Let it all cook together for about 5 minutes over low heat before serving. Add the goat cheese or feta just before serving. I love adding just a bit of goat cheese to mine for a bit of creaminess.
This makes a lot of food – Enough for 4 hungry adults, or for lunch leftover goodness the next day.