Easy Dinner Idea: Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta is one of the easiest and quickest dinners you can make. I make this recipe frequently and I love the way it turns out. It is like a gourmet meal in your own home. Here’s what you need:

Pasta, any kind – linguine is good as well as rigatoni
Prepared pesto – I like the Classico brand
Walnuts or pecans
Zucchini, squash, or broccoli, or other veggie of your choice
Olive oil

Prepare pasta according to directions. While the pasta is cooking heat oil in a medium skillet. Toast nuts in the pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Chop vegetable of choice. Add chopped vegetables to pan with nuts and sauté until done to your liking.

Drain pasta and put into pasta bowls. Add a tablespoon or two of pesto to each serving, stir to coat pasta. Top with toasted nuts and vegetables. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese if desired. Voila! Dinner is served.

Now I know the pasta and the pesto technically aren’t homemade, but give me a chance to get to that ok?

The Economics: A jar of Classico brand pesto is $1.99 at my local grocery store. Pasta is usually $1 or less per bag. In the summer you can purchase zucchini 4 for $1 at your local farmers’ market and you only need half of a medium zucchini for two people. Nuts are a little more expensive though. I like nuts in everything so I buy a big bag at Sam’s Club or Costco and keep it in my freezer.

So is it worth it? Most definitely. Pesto pasta is a quick and easy dinner that you can throw together on a night when you don’t really feel like cooking. It’s relatively inexpensive as well. I also like this meal because it is adaptable to whatever I have on hand. I’ve made it with just pesto and no vegetables or nuts or just vegetables and pesto or just pesto and nuts.

You can also use prepared pesto to make pesto mayo for sandwiches. In a bowl combine mayo with a little bit of pesto. Add more pesto to the mayo as desired and stir to combine. Use on any sandwich. I think pesto mayo is particularly great on grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches.

Have a great day everyone.


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