Roasted Veggies and Pasta with Homemade Pesto

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

Homemade pesto is one of the greatest things our society has ever invented. It’s one of the best things about gardening: lots of excess basil means lots of pesto sitting in the freezer, waiting to be eaten.

As for the rest of it, well, it’s fast and easy, which is something you can never have too much of, especially with two small kids and a busy schedule.

Which is good, because this pasta is something I can never have too much of.

The Journey:

You can essentially roast any kind of veggies, but we pretty much always fall back on the same ones. So go with what you have, but this is a combination I can vouch for.

colorful vegetables
Assuming you’ve made the pesto ahead of time, then all  you’ve got to do is coarsely chop the veggies, roast them, make pasta, and then mix it all together. What could be easier than that?

If you’re feeling particularly plucky, or carnivorous, you can toss in some sausage as well, which makes this even BETTER.

roasted veggies

The Verdict:

Not only is this absolutely delicious, but it’s just so colorful! Makes me feel good just looking at it. Plus you’re getting a lot of veggies, and it looks a lot fancier than it feels, since it’s so simple to make. The veggies are actually pretty sweet, and they go so well with the pesto. The sausage brings in a little saltiness and makes it last a bit longer in your stomach.

This is in heavy rotation at our house.

pasta and sausage

The Recipe:

Pesto:

Recipe modified slightly from the yummy life.

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus enough to pour on top of the jars to prevent discoloration
  1. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic.
  2. Add basil leaves and chop until fine.
  3. Add cheese, walnuts, salt, and pepper; pulse until the consistency of a coarse paste.
  4. With the food processor running, slowly pour olive oil through the feed tube and continue mixing until the oil is completely combined with paste.
  5. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week. Pesto freezes well. Freeze in ice cube trays, and then store frozen pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags in freezer for up to 6 months. Pesto may also be frozen in small jars or plastic containers for up to 9-12 months.

Pasta:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 package pasta
  • A handful of sun dried tomatoes (get the dry ones if you can, rather than the ones packed in oil)
  • ~ 1/2 lb of sausage (optional)

Any roasted veggies will do, but this is what we use:

  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large red onion
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Chop the veggies and spread them on a cookie sheet. Toss them with oil and a little salt
  3. Bake the veggies for 30-40 minutes, until they are a little blackened
  4. Make pasta as per directions on the package
  5. Toss the pasta with the pesto, veggies, sausage, and sun dried tomatoes
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