Recipe: Quick Pesto Pasta with Veggies

I love quick recipes during the week, and it does not get any easier than this pesto pasta with vegetables (and chicken, if you require it – boyfriend does). This is my interpretation of the Pesto Cavatappi at Noodles & Co., which is my favorite thing on the menu.  You can play with the type of noodle (I use whatever I have around), amount of pesto, and types of vegetables.  I know sometimes people are crazy not fans of mushrooms, so you can always omit or add other things. I bet zucchini would be good in this, now that I think about it…

Bonus: according to MyFitnessPal, one serving of the recipe below is 313 calories. I’ll take it!

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Pesto Pasta with Veggies (serves 4)

  • 8 oz. short pasta (I use whole wheat rotini)
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 oz. prepared pesto (I use about half of a Trader Joe’s container)
  • 4 sweet baby peppers or about 1/2 of any color bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded Parmesan (optional)
  • shredded or sliced chicken breast (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions on the package.  Drain and leave in colander. While pasta cooks, chop vegetables.  Spray the same pot used to boil the pasta (you could totally do this in a skillet as well, but I am all about saving dishes when I can) with cooking spray and saute vegetables over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  I usually judge this part by the mushrooms – when they’re soft, you’re good. Add pasta back to the pot with vegetables and stir in pesto.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan (I promise, grated is not as good for this recipe) and chicken, if you so desire. This is great leftover for lunch as well!

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