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Meatless Monday: Basil Pesto and Bow-tie Pasta


At some point in the not so distant past, I used to think that it was novel, almost romantic to talk about a well-stocked pantry. I never thought about our pantry as a dire necessity in our home, I thought of it more as a place to merely store the extra cans of beans and boxes of pasta that I would inevitably forget about during my subsequent trips to the market, putting more beans and noodles we didn’t need into my cart Then, the Corona virus became a reality and everything changed. For the past 2 weeks, making sure my pantry is stocked has become much more important to me. I am spending a lot of time thinking about the jars, cans and bags of food that will be able to feed my family. I have tried to plan out healthy, delicious and sometimes exotic meals that will not only satisfy us, but will last for at least a few meals.

I hope that this week, you will be able to enjoy Pesto and Bow-tie Pasta with your family. One good thing that has come out of this crazy situation we find ourselves in is the time we are spending with our families. There are no practices to figure out rides to, no doctor’s appointments to cram in between a tutor and a piano lesson, no play dates to host. We are home with our families, with no where else we need to be and we are going to get through this…together. All of us.

With love,

Jane

BASIL PESTO AND BOW-TIE PASTA

The ingredients below (except for the fresh basil) are things that I have in my pantry most of the time, making this an easy dinner to put together. And, the pesto will last in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month.

  • 2 cups fresh basil (stems removed) DO NOT SUBSTITUTE DRIED BASIL

  • 3 TBSP pine nuts or walnuts (I use walnuts as they are way cheaper and I always have some on hand)

  • 2 large cloves garlic (peeled) or 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 TBSP lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*

  • about 3-4 TBSP water or vegetable broth (plus more as needed)

  • 1 box cooked bow-tie pasta (we love how the pesto gets caught in the noodles!)

  • fresh greens and sliced cherry tomatoes, optional

  1. In a food processor, add the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt and black pepper. Blend/mix on high until a loose paste forms.

  2. Add olive oil a little at a time (while the machine is on if possible) and scrape down sides as needed. Then add 1 TBSP at a a time of water or vegetable broth until a thick but pour able consistency is reached.

  3. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. For more cheesiness: add more nutritional yeast. If too bland, add more salt. If too dull, add more nuts. If too flat, add more lemon juice!

  4. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately.

A really bright and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine to serve with pesto, as it highlights the earthy, floral notes of the basil.

Enjoy!


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