I had a really nice lunch over the weekend in Old Town Pasadena. I met up with a friend of mine and we ate at Mi Piace, a great little Italian restaurant on Colorado Blvd. I was so inspired by the basil pesto dish that my friend had and had to recreate it at home. This home cooked dish came out pretty close. The the dish at the restaurant had a lot more olive oil in the pesto but I have cut it down to a bare minimum here, feel free to add a tad more if you like. I love the combination of these vegetables, each adding their own characteristics. The sun-dried tomatoes add sweetness, while the jalapenos add spiciness and the mushrooms add a nice meatiness. Nice to know I can make it anytime I want without having to go anywhere. But I still love getting out to restaurants to see what’s on the menu and have some good social time with friends and family…always a pleasure!
Simple and flavorful!
Use rice or quinoa pasta to make gluten free.
Basil BASIL-WALNUT PESTO + MUSHROOMS, JALAPENO SUN DRIED-TOMATO
- 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, softened
- 8 oz. package mushrooms, sliced
- 2 jalapenos, sliced and seeds discarded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. pasta of choice
- almond parmesan, for topping
Walnut Basil Pesto
- 2 cups basil, packed
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves
- himalayan salt & pepper to taste (I used white pepper)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional*
Start with your pesto: Combine ingredients in food processor, process until blended and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package, drain and return to pot you cooked it in. Add a small amount of oil and toss to coat.
In saute pan heat oil over medium, saute mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and jalapeno for 4 – 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. It should be smelling pretty delicious about now! Remove from heat.
Toss pasta with pesto. Place pasta on individual serving dishes and top with sauteed vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste. Top with almond parmesan for even more flavor.
Serves 2 – 3
I didn’t use the nutritional yeast in my recipe, it’s a good healthy option for those seeking to replace the cheese flavor in other pesto recipes. Add slowly until you find the amount you like.
Use as much of the sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and jalapeno pepper as you like.
Use rice or quinoa pasta to make this gluten free.