Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Veggie Pesto Penne

It's already July,summer is just getting started and going by quickly all at the same time! Today officially kicks off a month long series, 31 days of family meals . In case you missed the news, each day this month my plan is to bring you a new main dish recipe. So what do you say? Let's gets started!

I created this particular dish a few weeks ago when asparagus was really in abundance at the farmers market.  You can always substitute any other seasonal veggies you happen to have, especially because asparagus season is most likely over with where you live. I know I've spotted a few vendors with small amounts, and of course our grocery stores carry it.

This is a perfect meatless Monday option and just a great way to enjoy all the fresh veggies right now. You'll still feel satisfied from the pasta incorporated. And pesto as the sauce, how could you not love it?

Picky kids got you worried? Let them help choose which veggies you'll add and put them to work by helping prepare dinner. It can be a lot of fun and slowly the kids will learn to like their veggies!

Veggie Pesto Penne

8 oz. penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil (or use oil from jarred tomatoes)
4-5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces
3.5 oz. jar of pesto
1 cup spinach or arugula
sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package instructions. While that's cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil or oil from the sundried tomatoes. Add the asparagus to the pan and saute for a few minutes. Season with pepper and salt. Add in chopped sundried tomatoes and let finish cooking for five more minutes.

When pasta is done and drained, add to the skillet and mix well. Remove from heat.  Add in pesto and mix until all ingredients are coated well. Toss spinach or arugula into dish, then sprinkle in Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Substitute fresh or canned diced tomatoes
Add sliced, grilled chicken for extra protein
Add zucchini or summer squash
Use any type of pasta


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