I posted about my garden last week and how my basil was going to seed. That meant I needed to use up a lot of basil and fresh pesto sauce seemed like the perfect delicious solution. I LOVE pasta and Italian food but tomato based sauces bother my acid reflux. I try to use other sauces when I can and make homemade alfredo and pesto since the store bought versions of both sauces are pretty unhealthy. This is a lighter pesto that uses less olive oil. I know olive oil is a “good” oil for you but its still an oil so theres not need for me to down an entire cup of it in one meal. I used the pesto to make a simple chicken sausage and green bean pasta dish. We served it cold, I guess more like a pasta salad, and took it to eat at the pool for dinner. It was also quite delicious hot (of course I taste tested!).
Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Green Beans
serves 2 (double if need be)
2 chicken sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
1.5 cups chopped fresh green beans, roughly 1 inch pieces
6 oz whole wheat pasta, ziti or farfalle
1/4 cup homemade pesto (recipe to follow)
Boil water for pasta and cook pasta according to directions. During last 5 minutes of the pasta cooking add chopped chicken sausage and chopped green beans to the pasta water. Drain water. If serving as a cold dish, run some cold water over it. Place in serving bowl, add pesto, and stir through. Refrigerate for a couple hours until chilled. Or serve right away hot.
Top with more parmesan cheese! I can never have too much parmesan on my pasta. And those green beans are from my garden too, SO good and fresh!
Light Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil, lightly packed
3 Tb Olive Oil
3 Tb parmesan cheese
3 Tb milk, water, cream, or olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
Put all ingredients in a food processor, like a magic bullet, and blend until smooth. Done!
I listed to use milk, cream, water, or more olive oil for that 3 Tb based on preference. If you are going to use the pesto in a pasta salad and have it sitting out for an extended period of time, I would add water (if wanting to keep it lighter) or more olive oil. If you aren’t having it sit out, I prefer a little milk (if wanting to keep it lighter) or cream. You just need those 3 TB of liquid to attain the right consistency.
if you make the pasta recipe and double it for a family of 4, then you will use most of the sauce. If you make the recipe as is, for 2 people, freeze the rest of the sauce for later.
Like I said, we ate this dinner at the pool and it was just the girls and I eating that night. Alyssa hoarded most of it. I figured I would get a little over 1 serving and Alyssa and Cassidy would split the remainder. Well Cassidy and Alyssa gobbled it up, leaving me with less than I planned! Ahh, the life of a mom.
But its worth it for faces as sweet as this…