I love pesto made with basil, nuts (any kind you like), parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil.  I toss it into veggies, baked potatoes, cubed tofu, bean dishes and a variety of whole grains .  Today, I am tossing it into rotini pasta with roasted zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, asparagus and shallots.  The pesto coats the veggies so deliciously that upon roasting the flavors pop!

{This post is sponsored by Dreamfields Pasta, but all recipes and opinions are my own.  As part of #Pastapalooza V, I’ll be joining #Foodiechats and #Dreamfields @Healthypasta for a twitter chat on Monday, June 29 from 7 – 8:30 CDT.  Join in the healthy eating conversation and find out how to support your local food bank, too.}

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I love when my kids eat pesto because it’s jam-packed with nutrients from the glorious herb goodness of basil and the healthy fats in the nuts – today I am using pistachios, which are jam-packed with protein, fiber and unsaturated fats, which bodes well for your heart health.  Plus, they are not called the ‘skinny’ nut for nothing – there’s a whopping 49 pistachios in an ounce, plus they are easy to eat mindfully, if you buy them in the shell.  You get a double does of healthy fats in the olive oil, as well as antioxidants in the first-cold pressed, extra-virgin variety.  Keep in mind, a little goes a long way as the calories can add up fast.

LetterGlowImage.jpgOnce the pasta is cooked, I toss a dollop of pesto in allowing it to adhere to each of the spirals so beautifully.  It works best while the pasta is still warm as the pesto blends better forming a rich sauce.

Roasted Vegetables with Basil Pesto Rotini

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Ingredients

1 box Dreamfields Rotini

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 medium yellow squash, diced

1 small eggplant, diced

6 medium asparagus stalks, coarsely chopped

1 small shallot, diced

Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil

1/3 cup pistachios, lightly salted, shelled

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 large garlic clove

Directions

1.   Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.  Cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta in large bowl; set aside.

3.  For pesto place basil, cheese, pistachios, oil and garlic in food processor or blender container. Pulse together until mixture forms a wet paste; set aside.

4.  Meanwhile, place zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, asparagus and shallot on rimmed baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Add 3/4 of the pesto; toss to coat vegetables.

5.  Roast vegetables 45 minutes (stir every 15 minutes) or until softened and golden brown. Remove from oven. Toss vegetables with pasta.

6. Add remaining pesto to pasta; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Divide evenly among six bowls. Serve warm or room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 480 calories; 15 g protein; 56 g carbohydrates; 25 g total fat; 4 g saturated fat; 7 mg cholesterol; 180 mg sodium; 10 g total dietary fiber.

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

P. S. I hope you can connect with me and @Healthypasta on #Foodiechats via Twitter on Monday, 6/29!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out my lifestyle tips and recipes today!

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