Organic pasta mixed with blistered grape tomatoes, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, all natural pesto and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Total time = 30 minutes, including the prep and clean up. This was delicious and healthy pasta!
A few years ago, my kids couldn’t stand pesto. So, I stopped buying it and never made one. Actually, I went through a stage thinking it’s too fattening but these days I just know that moderation is key.
Who could have said no to this juicy and saucy pasta?! I was right, kids loved it so I’m back on a friends page with pesto. Hello, vegan kale pesto mixed with chicken zucchini noodles (or tofu to pretend I am vegan for one meal).
Big confession: I love cooking pasta more than eating it. Before someone says anything, yes I know it’s white pasta. I have very hard time finding not brown rice and whole wheat penne or fussili pasta on the West Coast. I wish we had Delallo! I would pay a lot for it.
Anyways, this organic Garofalo pasta lurks me in every Costco shopping trip ( => usual healthy Costco shopping list) with its fun shape and the fact that it’s organic. Kids ask for it as a treat. My kids would eat pasta every single meal if I let them. Any of yours are the same? To be fair, I let them have it. They eat every other grain whole and they don’t even touch cakes and cupcakes. They don’t like icing. Fair enough. I personally do not like it either.
So, knowing I won’t be eating this pasta dish this time, I used regular pasta. It was Monday, I needed to balance out my weekend treats, so I was cleaning out the fridge and made myself some kale and quinoa salad.
I finally was able to find a pesto sauce without preservatives. That has been quite a challenge. Grated some fresh Parmesan cheese. Cooked my pasta. I just love cooking pasta dishes. They are so comforting, cozy and inviting!
Gave the tomatoes a few quick fire burns with pesto. Same with broccoli. A decent dollop of pesto. Then combine everything and that’s it.
Seriously, this healthy pasta was awesome and simple! Use whole wheat or gluten free pasta. Use less cheese if you wish. I used pesto sparingly – only 1 tbsp per whole serving.
Kids picked out sun dried tomatoes but ate everything else. That works. And if you are up to veggie loaded pasta dishes, you might like my penne with broccoli, vegetable florentine pasta and pasta with cauliflower. Enjoy!
Healthy Pasta with Pesto, Tomato and Broccoli
- 2 cups small shape pasta (ancient grain, quinoa or brown rice), uncooked
- 1 cup pasta water
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pesto, divided
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in halves
- 4 cups small broccoli florets
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- Cook pasta as per package instructions, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, get all ingredients ready. Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and add olive oil and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add 1 tbsp pesto, tomatoes and stir. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes and stir again. Cook another 1 - 2 minutes. Move to one side of the skillet and make sure the empty side of is positioned directly over heat. Add 1 tbsp pesto and broccoli, stir and cook for 4 minutes, stirring once.
- Remove skillet from heat and add remaining 1/4 cup pesto, sun dried tomatoes, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, pasta and pasta water. Stir gently and let flavours marinate for a few minutes. Do not cover because broccoli will become a mushy mess. I also like to add half Parmesan cheese in this step and the other half right before serving. Serve hot.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 1 + 1/3 cups:
Total Fat: 11.6 g
Cholesterol: 6.7 mg
Sodium: 423.5 mg
Total Carbs: 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 9.3 g
WW Points+: 6