Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pesto Pasta

Still on my health kick, I wanted to combine my 2 favorite things - pasta and grilled veggies. I had prepared pesto on hand, but I'm sure it would have been better with fresh. But I did have fresh basil, which I added at the end. This is a light, quick and filling dish. I made a portion with just veggies for myself, and some with sauteed shrimp for Jamie, and you can omit the chicken broth and cream to make it lighter.

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Three Tomatoes & Grilled Veggies

1/2 lb whole wheat rotini
1/4 cup fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup half & half cream
3 tablespoons of chopped sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/4 green pepper, cut in chunks
1/2 yellow pepper, 1/2 red pepper, cut in chunks
1/2 small red onion, cut in chunks
1 roma tomato, sliced
Small handful of yellow and red grape tomatoes
1/4 zucchini, sliced
extra virgin olive oil to coat veggie and sauteed shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
a few leaves of fresh basil, chiffonade

Heat an indoor grill or grill pan. Toss veggies in olive oil, salt & pepper, and some garlic and grill till desired, approx 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions.

If using shrimp, sauteed in a heated pan with a little garlic till pink on both sides, less than 8 minutes.

If you are not using cream, toss pesto pasta, and veggies (and sun dried tomatoes) and basil (and shrimp is desired). Top with basil chiffonade and serve!

If you are making it more creamy, heat the chicken broth, sun dried tomatoes and some garlic till simmering. Add pesto and combine. Add creamy slowly while at a low simmer till creamy, adding more pesto or cream till desired amount is achieved. Turn on low and add in drained pasta, veggies and shrimp. Top with basil chiffonade and serve.

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